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Five things to watch for at the Presidents Cup

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11.12.2019

TSN Senior Reporter

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TSN Golf Analyst Bob Weeks gets you ready for the critical opening day at Royal Melbourne with a look at the storylines to follow and his predictions for the five opening four-ball matches.

1. The start

The International team desperately needs to get out to a fast start. It hasn’t led after any session since 2005. That stunning stat shows why the rest-of-the-world squad has been on the losing end in all but two editions of the Presidents Cup. Getting out of the gate quickly, then, is a priority. Wisely, captain Ernie Els has selected four-ball in the opening round on Thursday, the format in which the International players have fared best. Over past cups, the U.S. leads in four-ball points 33-29, so the results have been fairly equal. Foursomes is another matter. The Americans lead 45-17 and haven’t scored fewer points in this format than their opponents since 1998.

2. The data

Ernie Els has gone away from pairing up players based solely on their wishes. In the past, a lot of the partnerships were based on friendships. This time, it will be driven more by numbers. An analytics company, 15th Club, was hired to see what the statistics said were the best partnerships. Els has asked his players to buy in to it, if for no other reason than........

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