2022 Presidents Cup: Odds, Picks and Analysis for Saturday’s Foursomes Matches
Pictured: Tony FInau. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Longtime fans of the New England Patriots understand that six Super Bowl titles have given Bill Belichick a bit of leeway if he chooses to pick an offensive lineman from Tennessee Chattanooga in the first round or a defensive back from Lenoir-Rhyne in the second.
He’s earned a certain level of trust.
Now, nobody would suggest United States captain Davis Love III has reached any sort of Belichickian level of leadership, but it’s tough to criticize a man whose team leads 8-2 after the first two sessions of the Presidents Cup — even if Love is seemingly trying to give us a reason.
Let’s break down the four Saturday morning foursomes matches, which include a few quizzical decisions from Love.
Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA): -150
vs. Sungjae Im/Corey Conners (INTL): +130
At least the first pairing was a no-brainer for the American captain, who is going with a pair of buddies who are already 2-0-0 this week. Spieth and Thomas combined to card nine birdies in 17 holes during Friday’s four-ball match and have certainly earned another turn in the alternate-shot format, especially now that Spieth seems to be carrying his weight a bit more. Im and Conners aren’t just two of the International team’s best ball-strikers, they’re two of the best in the world.
The pick: Spieth/Thomas
I expect this to be a very good match, but also one that will epitomize the event as a whole so far. During a week when the U.S. team has consistently made more putts, the tandem of Spieth/Thomas should give them yet another advantage on the greens. If Spieth and Conners wind up putting for birdies/pars on the same holes, well, you know who is making more of those.
Cameron Young/Collin Morikawa (USA): -145
vs. Adam Scott/Hideki Matsuyama (INTL): +125
If betting on the actual matches hasn’t provided enough excitement, then maybe we should be betting on which players will be announced for each one. If that was the case, I would’ve lost big on Young being one of six players to compete in each of the first three sessions. That said, I do like his pairing with Morikawa, as they combined to win a point in this format on Thursday.
As for Scott and Matsuyama, I didn’t like it when they opened together in the first session and I still don’t like it. I’m sure International captain Trevor Immelman has some analytics that tell him they are worthy partners, but putting the two most experienced players together seems counterproductive to the process.
The pick: Young/Morikawa
On the holes where Young, one of the game’s best drivers, tees off and Morikawa, one of the best iron players, hits the approach, these guys should be deadly. If they simply hold serve on the other holes, they’ll win this one.
Scottie Scheffler/Sam Burns (USA): -175
vs. K.H. Lee/Tom Kim (INTL): +150
OK, here’s your biggest head-scratcher: Scheffler and Burns have combined to go 0-1-1 so far, turning a pair of back-nine, 2-up leads into a loss and a halve. If any two guys on the U.S. team looked like they could use a little extra sleep and a morning of rest, it’s them.
I don’t think the outright total will ever get to the point where we’re second-guessing Love, but anyone watching this match will be wondering why Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele (2-0-0 together so far) aren’t playing instead.
The pick: Lee/Kim
My idea that Kim was going to become the darling of this event on the International side hasn’t come to fruition — at least not in terms of points — but I do think he and Lee (who didn’t play Friday) should have more gas in the tank and can outlast the favorites in this one.
Tony Finau/Max Homa (USA): -180
vs. Si Woo Kim/Cam Davis (INTL): +155
Here’s another puzzler. What’s the point in having Finau on the roster if you’re only going to use him in foursomes, rather than taking advantage of his firepower in the four-ball format? That said, it’s not like he can’t play this one, as he and Homa have already combined for a victory this week. The same can be said for Kim/Davis, which means these four players own a combined 5-1-0 record over the first two days.
The pick: Finau/Homa
I’m not sure anyone is having more fun this week than Homa, who holed massive putts on the final two holes in Friday’s four-ball session to win a point alongside Billy Horschel. This is another one which could go the distance, but don’t be surprised if we see a little Homa magic again.