The 14th playing of the Presidents Cup is less than 24 hours away now as the heavily favored United States Team takes on an International Team looking to pull off a massive upset this week at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The competition returns on Thursday following a three-year hiatus and play will begin with five Foursomes matches to kick off the first day of the 2022 Presidents Cup. The pairings and matches were selected via a snake draft style process by both team captains; Davis Love III (United States) and Trevor Immelman (Internationals) on Wednesday.
The heavily anticipated pairing of Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele will go out first for Davis Love’s U.S. Team after International Captain Trevor Immelman elected to send out the experienced Presidents Cup duo of Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama right away.
Any outcome come Sunday evening that doesn’t end with the United States lifting the cup would be a massive shock. The International side has the opportunity to apply some early pressure on the Americans on day one, however.
Let’s take a closer look at Thursday’s matches and make some picks for the Foursomes action on the first day of the 2022 Presidents Cup.
Presidents Cup: Thursday Foursomes Picks and Predictions
Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele vs Adam Scott/Hideki Matsuyama
The dynamic American duo return to action as a pairing following on from their Zurich Classic win last season on Tour and a perfect record when paired together at last year’s Ryder Cup. Since Cantlay and Schauffele teamed up back at the last Presidents Cup they have won four of the six matches they have played for the stars and stripes.
Scott and Matsuyama are Presidents Cup veterans. The duo have been paired in this competition on five different occasions posting a record of a win, a draw, and three losses (1-1-3). The pair didn’t play together in Australia at the last Presidents Cup, in fact, the last time they competed together was back at the 2015 Presidents Cup in South Korea.
In 2019 Hideki went 2-1-1 in four matches while Adam Scott posted a 1-1-2 line in his home nation. The pair don’t have the best of records when paired together in this competition and it has been a while since they were sent out together, so I give the edge to Cantlay and Schauffele on day one.
Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas vs Sungjae Im/Corey Conners
After a very successful stint together in the last two Ryder Cups Spieth and Thomas will partner together for the first time at a Presidents Cup. Jordan Spieth returns to the American Presidents Cup team after missing out in 2019.
Spieth and Thomas have gone 4-2 together since teaming up at the Ryder Cup in 2018. Justin Thomas went 3-1-1 overall at the last Presidents Cup helping the United States claim the cup.
Sungjae Im will be participating in his second Presidents Cup this week after posting an impressive 3-1-1 record as a rookie in Australia. Im will partner for the first time with Presidents Cup rookie Corey Conners on day one.
While Conners will be making his Presidents Cup debut this week he did have a nice run at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play last season where he made it all the way through to the semi-final stage before beating Dustin Johnson in the third place match.
Despite the fact that Im and Conners will be playing together for the first time in team competition I like their chances of pulling off a surprise upset in this spot.
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Collin Morikawa/Cameron Young vs Tom Kim/K.H. Lee
The third Foursomes match on day one features four players who will all be making their Presidents Cup debut. Collin Morikawa comes into the 2022 Presidents Cup after having a significant impact at last year’s Ryder Cup where he helped the United States on their way to glory. The two-time Major winner was unbeaten in four matches in Wisconsin posting a tally of 3-1-0.
Big-hitting Cameron Young will pair up with Morikawa as the duo looks to blend Young’s elite Off The Tee game (2nd on Tour) with Morikawa’s phenomenal iron play (3rd in Strokes Gained: Approach last season).
Young Tom Kim exploded on the scene towards the end of last season picking up top 10 finishes at the Genesis Scottish Open and Rocket Mortgage Classic before his electric win at the regular season finale; Wyndham Championship last month.
Kim will pair up with fellow countryman K.H. Lee who will also be making his Presidents Cup debut this week. Lee is somebody who could surprise in the coming days as the two-time AT&T Byron Nelson winner has demonstrated an ability to compete with the very best.
The International pair could pull off a shock upset in this spot, but in the end, I feel like Morikawa’s Ryder Cup experience from last year propels the Americans to victory when all is said and done.
Scottie Scheffler/Sam Burns vs Si Woo Kim/Cam Davis
On paper, at least, this looks like it could be the biggest mismatch of the five day one contests. World number one Scottie Scheffler will make his Presidents Cup debut following on from a fantastic rookie performance at last year’s Ryder Cup where he went 2-1-0.
Playing partner Burns will also be making his Presidents Cup debut after just narrowly missing out on a spot on the American Team at the Ryder Cup.
Si Woo Kim missed out on securing a spot on the 2019 International Presidents Cup squad, but he did participate in the 2017 Presidents Cup at Liberty National where he went 1-0-2 in three matches.
Australian Cam Davis will partner with Kim as he also makes his Presidents Cup debut this year. The 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic winner is coming off a solid season on the PGA Tour that included five top 10 finishes, with his best result being a 3rd place finish at the RBC Heritage back in April.
Scheffler and Burns are the clear favorites in this spot and while Si Woo Kim, a former Players Champion, can score with the best of them; it would be a massive shock if the Americans didn’t come out of this match with a win.
Tony Finau/Max Homa vs Taylor Pendrith/Mito Pereira
The final match of Thursday’s Foursomes session pits two of the hottest players toward the end of the year in Finau and Homa against two Internationals who will be making their Presidents Cup debut this week.
Max Homa is also making his debut for the Americans so experienced Tony Finau will attempt to show him the path to victory. Tony went 1-0-2 at the Ryder Cup last September and 0-3-1 in Australia back in 2019.
Both Finau and Homa are coming into this year’s Presidents Cup in exceptional form with Finau winning twice in his last five starts and Homa winning just last week at the season-opening 2022 Fortinet Championship.
Meanwhile, big-hitting Taylor Pendrith (9th in driving distance) seemingly has the perfect game for Quail Hollow. While the Canadian is making his Presidents Cup debut this week, he also comes in with pretty solid form with two top 15 finishes in his last four starts.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of playing partner Mito Pereira who broke a streak of four consecutive missed cuts back at the FedEx St. Jude Championship; though the Chilean hasn’t had a top 20 finish since the Memorial Tournament back in June.
The final match of the day could easily be one of the most competitive and Pendrith and Pereira could spring a surprise. In the end, however, I believe Finau and Homa’s exceptional form coming into the event will carry them to victory on day one of the 2022 Presidents Cup.