What do captains Davis Love III and Trevor Immelman have in store as the 14th Presidents Cup gets underway Thursday at Quail Hollow Club? The first glimpses of the Americans and Internationals respective strategies were revealed when the two sides rolled out the pairings for the opening foursomes session in Charlotte.
To no one’s surprise, Love is relying on a couple of tried-and-true duos from past team events to get the American side off to a hot start, pairing good friends Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele for lead-off match and long-time buds Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth in the No. 2 spot.
Cantlay and Schuaffele are 4-2 when playing together in the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup and joined forces to win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in April. Thomas and Spieth are 4-2 as well when paired at the 2018 and 2021 Ryder Cups.
“This team was a little bit different from ones we’ve had in the past. There were a lot of obvious pairings and then a lot of guys that really get along well,” Love said. “The obvious ones made the other ones a little harder because everybody does get along well. There’s not anybody where you say that guy is hard to pair. It’s just hard to pick two to sit out. That’s our problem.”
How Immelman was going to send out his players was a bit more of a mystery, given that eight of the 12 International team members are playing in their first Presidents Cup. But he went with experience in the first match, putting out Adam Scott, a 10-time Presidents Cup team member, and Hideki Matsuyama. He then followed that with two rookies, Sungjae Im and Corey Conners.
Below are all five matches for the opening session. Sitting out for the International team are Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Sebastian Munoz. The Americans who aren’t playing on Day 1 are Billy Horschel and Kevin Kisner.
Thursday Foursomes Pairings
Adam Scott/Hideki Matsuyama (INT) vs. Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele (U.S.)
Sungjae Im/Corey Conners (INT) vs. Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (U.S.)
Tom Kim/K.H. Lee (INT) vs. Cameron Young/Collin Morikawa (U.S.)
Si Woo Kim/Cam Davis (INT) vs. Scottie Scheffler/Sam Burns (U.S.)
Taylor Pendrith/Mito Pereira (INT) vs. Tony Finau/Max Homa (U.S.)