After another lopsided session on Saturday morning, the outcome of the 12th Presidents Cup is no longer in doubt, with the Americans up by a commanding nine points, 11½ to 2½, with the afternoon four-ball matches still in progress. All that remains is to figure out the final score to determine just how big a flogging we’re witnessing.
But to get a real sense for the lopsided nature of play at Liberty National, let’s consider some other statistics from the first three sessions that put things in proper context.
1. The largest margin of victory in the Presidents Cup is in jeopardy.
The US won in 2000 at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club outside Washington D.C, 21½ to 10½. That 11 points is the target that the Americans might be shooting for this weekend. Or it could be 15 points, which is the largest margin of victory by a US squad in a professional matchplay team competition, when the Americans beat Great Britain in the 1967 Ryder Cup at Champions Golf Club in Houston, 23½ to 8½. Both records might be reasonable to break given the Americans impressive play thus far.
2. The Americans’ nine-point edge is the largest lead after three sessions ever in the Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup.
The US hasn’t led by seven or more points after three sessions in a team competition since the 1975 Ryder Cup at Laurel Valley.
3. American teams have posted an under-par score in 12 of the 14 matches contested through Saturday morning at Liberty National.
Daniel Berger and Brooks Koepka were four-over in the Thursday foursomes match, the lone American loss for the week thus far. And Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas were even-par in their Saturday morning foursomes match, which they halved. Otherwise, the Americans have been in red figures in every other contest.
4. En route to Team USA’s 4½ to ½ drubbing in Friday fourballs, the five US duos were a collective 30-under.
Granted, this includes normal matchplay concessions, but seriously. The Americans had to count just two bogeys the entire afternoon. How do you expect any other team to keep up?
5. The International side has never been more than 2 up in any match all week, except one.
That exception came when Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen won the 17th hole in their Thursday foursomes match against Berger and Koepka to close out their match 3&1. Again, that’s the only outright victory of the entire week for the Internationals.
By comparison, the US has won eight matches by at least three holes.
6. No American pairing has won fewer than three holes in any given match.
Contrast that with the fact that in five of the 14 matches, the Internationals have won fewer than three holes against their American opponents.
7. On the back nine at Liberty National, the Americans have won 32 holes. The Internationals have won 15.
Perhaps a clear indication of just how well the Americans have been able to close out their matches.
8. With a sweep of the four Saturday afternoon four-ball matches, the Americans could clinch an overall victory.
Yes, it is possible that Sunday’s singles play would have no bearing on the final outcome of the match. And yes, that would be a first.