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Presidents Cup

The Presidents Cup is a series of men's golf matches between a team representing the United Statesmarker and an International Team representing the rest of the world less Europe. Europe competes against the U.S. in a similar but considerably older event, the Ryder Cup. The Presidents Cup is held biennially. Initially it was held in even numbered years, with the Ryder Cup being held in odd numbered years. However, the cancellation of the 2001 Ryder Cup due to the September 11 attacks pushed both tournaments back a year, and the Presidents Cup is now held in odd numbered years. It is hosted alternately in the U.S. and in countries represented by the International Team.

Format and strategy

The scoring system of the event is match play. The format is drawn from the Ryder Cup, consisting of twelve players per side and a non-playing captain, usually a highly respected golf figure. The captains are responsible for pairing the teams in the doubles events, which consist of both alternate shot and best ball formats (also known as "foursome" and "four ball" matches respectively) However, unlike the Ryder Cup, all twelve players must play foursome and four ball matches on Thursday and Friday (six matches per session, unlike the Ryder Cup with four matches), and only two players will sit out each session of Saturday matches (five matches per Saturday session, compared to four), and each player must play a one-on-one, singles match on Sunday.

Each match, whether it be a doubles or singles match, is worth one point. In the doubles matches a half-point is awarded to each team in the event of a tie. With 11 foursome doubles matches, 11 four ball doubles matches and 12 singles matches that represents a total of 34 points. To win the Presidents Cup a team must accrue a total of 17.5 points.

The format of the Presidents Cup differs from the Ryder Cup mainly in that it includes six extra matches, which prevents a team from hiding its weaknesses. By having all 24 players on the course for all three days there cannot be a situation such as in the 1999 Ryder Cup when Europe kept three players (Jarmo Sandelin, Jean Van de Velde and Andrew Coltart) on the bench for the sixteen four-ball and better-ball matches on the first two days. This use of twelve players on all three days arguably led to the United States' victory.


Until the 2005 event, prior to the start of the final day matches, the captains selected one player to play in a tie-breaker in the event of a tie at the end of the final match. Upon a tie, the captains would reveal the players who would play a sudden-death match to determine the winner. In 2003, however, the tiebreaker match ended after three holes because of darkness, and it was decided that the Cup would be shared by both teams.

To prevent a repeat of this situation a new format was adopted. Beginning in 2005, all doubles matches played Thursday through Saturday may end in a tie. However, on Sunday, all singles matches ending in a tie at the end of the regulation 18 holes will be extended to extra holes until that match is won outright. All singles matches will continue in this format until one team reaches the required 17.5 point total and wins The Presidents Cup. At that point, all remaining singles matches will only be played to the regulation 18 holes and may end in a tie. This is done to preserve the individual player points for the event.


The event was created and is organized by the PGA Tour. At the inaugural Presidents Cup in 1994, former U.S. President Gerald Ford was Honorary Chairman. Subsequent events saw former President George H. W. Bush, former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, then-President Bill Clinton, the former President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki, George W. Bush and the Prime Minister of Canadamarker Stephen Harper in the chair.


There is no prize money awarded at the Presidents Cup. The net proceeds are distributed to charities nominated by the players, captains, and captains' assistants. The first six Presidents Cups raised over US$13 million for charities around the world.


Year Venue Winning Team Score Losing Team Captains

Harding Park Golf Clubmarker

(San Francisco, Californiamarker)
United States 19½ 14½ International  Fred Couples

 Greg Norman

Royal Montreal Golf Club

(L'Île-Bizardmarker, Quebecmarker, Canadamarker)
United States 19½ 14½ International  Jack Nicklaus

 Gary Player

Robert Trent Jones Golf Clubmarker

(Gainesville, Virginiamarker)
United States 18½ 15½ International  Jack Nicklaus

 Gary Player

Fancourt Hotel and Country Club Estate

(George, Western Capemarker, South Africa)
Tied 17 17 Tied  Jack Nicklaus

 Gary Player

Robert Trent Jones Golf Clubmarker

(Gainesville, Virginiamarker)
United States 21½ 10½ International  Ken Venturi

 Peter Thomson

Royal Melbourne Golf Clubmarker

(Melbournemarker, Australia)
International 20½ 11½ United States  Jack Nicklaus

 Peter Thomson

Robert Trent Jones Golf Clubmarker

(Gainesville, Virginiamarker)
United States 16½ 15½ International  Arnold Palmer

 Peter Thomson

Robert Trent Jones Golf Clubmarker

(Gainesville, Virginiamarker)
United States 20 12 International  Hale Irwin

 David Graham

ESPN Presidents Cup History

Perfect performances

Golfer Team Record Year Overall Cup
Mark O'Meara United States 5-0-0 1996 Won
Shigeki Maruyama International 5-0-0 1998 Won
Tiger Woods United States 5-0-0 2009 Won

Future sites

See also


  1. - Els-Woods playoff unable to settle Presidents Cup
  2. PGATOUR.COM - Archived Story
  3. - The Presidents Cup History
  4. - The Presidents Cup Information

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