The Presidents Cup returns to Australia for the third time in 13 editions of the team match-play event featuring the United States team versus the International team (minus Europe). The Americans have a 10-1-1 record all time.
The historical domination is just one of the reasons why Team USA is a -330 favorite to lift the trophy and -278 on the three-way line (tie included). There is also a disparate amount of talent on the rosters as Team USA’s group of 12 are all ranked in the top 25 in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR). The International team has three top-25 players — Adam Scott (18), Louis Oosthuizen (20) and Hideki Matsuyama (21) — but has only five players with event experience and will have seven rookies from seven different nations playing this week. The Americans have five rookies but their average world ranking is 12.4.
Day 1 Winner: International, +225: This is worth a look simply because of the preparation advantage. The Internationals all played practice rounds on Monday (local time) while the Americans had to wait until Tuesday to get onto the Royal Melbourne Golf Club. Both sides have a fair amount of rookies who will see their first action in this event. Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson are playing their first competitive rounds since late August. The International players have been more active in worldwide events this fall.
Top combined scorer — Justin Thomas, 8/1: Thomas has won twice in his last six events (BMW Championship; CJ Cup at Nine Bridges) and has five top 10s in those last six events. He clearly has the best form on the American team.
Top International scorer — Louis Oosthuizen, 6/1: Oosthuizen has played five of the last seven weeks including a second last week at the Emirates Australian Open and a third at the WGC: HSBC Champions event in China.
Wes Reynolds writes for Point Spread Weekly, VSiN’s digital magazine for sports bettors.