2022 Presidents Cup Odds and Picks: Day 2 Predictions and Analysis
Pictured: Jordan Spieth. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Not every match went as expected, but it’s impossible to be surprised at the Day 1 result. The United States notched four of the five available points in the Presidents Cup opening foursomes session and will take a commanding 4-1 lead into Friday.
If there weren’t many surprises during the round, then maybe a few occurred afterward, as three of the four players who will sit out Friday’s four-ball session earned a full point for their team in the opening format.
I asked U.S. captain Davis Love III how difficult it was to leave Tony Finau and Collin Morikawa out of the lineup and he admitted that even a few minutes before the announcement, as assistant Fred Couples was asking him who was sitting, he still wasn’t sure.
For the International side, Trevor Immelman will rest Si Woo Kim, who won the final four holes of his match alongside Cam Davis to help secure the team’s only point.
Let’s get to the analysis and picks for the upcoming four-ball session, which will be massive for the International squad if it has hopes of getting back into this thing.
Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA): -165
Adam Scott/Cam Davis (INTL): +140
It’s no surprise that “good buddies” Spieth and Thomas are together again, following a victory in Thursday’s foursomes session. It feels like they’ve played 50 matches with each other in team competitions, but the reality is they’re 4-2-0 in six matches. Davis should be a much, much better partner for Scott than Matsuyama was in the opener. The veteran should be a nice calming influence on the rookie, who teamed with Si Woo Kim for the team’s lone point Thursday.
The pick: Spieth/Thomas
This should be a back-and-forth match featuring plenty of birdies, but quite honestly, I’d take a team of Thomas and any other American right now. Not just any American player on this roster, but literally any American. He’d just carry them to victory, that’s how much he loves these things.
Scottie Scheffler/Sam Burns (USA): -145
Sungjae Im/Sebastian Munoz (INTL): +125
In speaking with Love for a minute after the pairings were announced, I got the sense that — reading between the lines — his toughest decision was whether to break up Scheffler and Burns after their Thursday loss, or keep them together. Meanwhile, Im and Munoz feels like just one of those pairings that winds up happening each time for the International side. A pair of very good players who have little in common and struggle to maintain the same camaraderie as the pair of best friends on the other side of the tee box.
The pick: Scheffler/Burns
Did they play poorly in the opening session or just finish poorly? I’d argue the latter, which doesn’t make it any more palatable, but they won five of the first 14 holes, only to lose the final four. I think they’ll reward Love for his decision in this one.
Kevin Kisner/Cameron Young (USA): -135
Mito Pereira/Christiaan Bezuidenhout (INTL): +115
I really don’t like the pairing of Kisner and Young. There might not be a more mismatched pair on the U.S. squad. I would’ve split up Scheffler and Burns, putting the former with Kisner and the latter with Horschel. Anyway, for as much as I don’t really like the Kisner/Young duo, I like the Pereira/Bezuidenhout tandem even less. Pereira struggled at the beginning and end of his Thursday match. After a rough past few months, he would’ve been the first guy assigned to my bench for Friday.
The pick: Kisner/Young
I think the U.S. lucked out in this one. I would’ve faded Kisner and Young against any of the other four International teams, but I think they’ll do just enough to take home a full point.
Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele (USA): -165
Hideki Matsuyama/Tom Kim (INTL): +140
Get your popcorn ready. OK, that might be overdramatizing it a bit — especially after Matsuyama was half of a duo which got smoked by Cantlay and Schauffele in the opening session — but this one should have some serious firepower. I still believe Kim has the potential to be a silver lining for this International team when it’s all said and done.
The pick: Cantlay/Schauffele
It’s virtually impossible to pick against a pairing that literally hasn’t lost anything in the past year, from a pair of Ryder Cup matches to the Zurich Classic title to Thursday’s match. That said, if you can find a line on this one going the distance, I think we have some Match of the Day potential.
Billy Horschel/Max Homa (USA): -135
Corey Conners/Taylor Pendrith (INTL): +115
Through two days, it appears Homa is going to play the Jose Oquendo role for the U.S. team. (Props to readers who get the reference.) As the ultimate utility player, Love seems confident he can pair Homa with just about anyone. After winning with Finau on Thursday, it’s a little surprising that the rookie is playing and the veteran is sitting, but he should make for a fiery partnership with Horschel, who’s been waiting his entire life to play in one of these things.
The pick: Conners/Pendrith
Prior to the start of this week, it appeared there were a few natural pairings for Immelman, which made it a bit confounding that the two Canadians weren’t playing together in the first session. The captain made up for it here and the longtime friends should feed off each other — especially Pendrith, who was picked for this squad specifically because his game suits this track so well.