Presidents Cup 2019 Live Tiger Woods will lead his United States team out alongside world No. 4 Justin Thomas when the opening fourballs get under way in the 2019 Presidents Cup on Thursday.
The 15-time major champion captains a side at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia that includes five of the world’s current top 10.
The highest-ranked player International Team captain Ernie Els has to call upon, meanwhile, is world No. 18 Adam Scott.
If the hosts are to have any chance of preventing Team USA winning an eighth Presidents Cup in a row, they will need to make a good start in Thursday’s fourballs.
Day 1 Schedule (start times Wednesday in U.S. and UK)
5:32 pm. ET/10 :32 p.m. GMT: Marc Leishman and Joaquin Niemann vs. Justin Thomas and Tiger Woods
5:47 p.m. ET/10:47 p.m. GMT: Adam Hadwin and Sungjae Im vs. Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay
6:02 p.m. ET/11:02 p.m. GMT: Adam Scott and Byeong Hun An vs. Bryson DeChambeau and Tony Finau
6:17 p.m. ET/11:17 p.m. GMT: Hideki Matsuyama and C.T. Pan vs. Webb Simpson and Patrick Reed
6:32 p.m. ET/11:32 p.m. GMT: Abraham Ancer and Louis Oosthuizen vs. Dustin Johnson and Gary Woodland
Watch live on the Golf Channel (U.S.) and Sky Sports Golf (UK). Live-streaming available via the Golf Channel and Sky Go.
There is no denying the U.S. side are hot favourites to prevail in Australia.
Each of their pairings for Thursday looks more than capable of beating their International counterparts.
Marc Leishman and Joaquin Niemann’s combined ranking is 84. Woods and Thomas’ is 10:
Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay are also both top-10 players, while Canada’s Adam Hadwin and South Korea’s Sungjae Im have never cracked the top 30.
Scott and Byeong Hun An may have a chance of claiming a point as the Bryson DeChambeau-Tony Finau pairing is quite green—they are both rookies—and the former had a chastening experience losing all three of his matches in last year’s Ryder Cup.
But then Match 4 sees major champions Webb Simpson and Patrick Reed up against former world No. 2 Hideki Matsuyama and C.T. Pan, who is outside the top 60.
Els has been sensible in making the dependable Louis Oosthuizen his anchorman in the final group alongside 28-year-old Mexican Abraham Ancer. It is an exciting pairing that could produce some fireworks.
But even at their best will they be able to better Dustin Johnson and Gary Woodland?
On paper, Team USA look all but unbeatable.
There are variables, though, not least that Woods is the first playing captain since Hale Irwin in the inaugural edition in 1994.
How effectively the 43-year-old delegates to his vice-captains Fred Couples, Zach Johnson and Steve Stricker, and whether the captaincy duties impact his own play, will have a major bearing on the outcome of the 2019 Presidents Cup.
It must also be remembered that the U.S. team at the 2018 Ryder Cup, which included eight of the 12 players representing America in Australia this year, were pegged as unstoppable.
They went to Le Golf National in France to crush the European team and lay the foundations for a decade of U.S. dominance.
Europe ended up winning by seven points, the biggest margin of victory in over a decade.