U.S. dominance puts Presidents Cup relevance on the line

Tue Oct 8, 2013 2:21am EDT
 
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

DUBLIN, Ohio (Reuters) - A marathon week of rain delays and birdie hunting at Muirfield Village Golf Club ended with yet another United States victory at the Presidents Cup, once again raising questions about the relevance of the biennial team competition.

The Internationals have triumphed only once and been beaten eight times in 10 editions since the Cup was launched in 1994, and many feel that a change to the event's points structure is sorely needed to make it more competitive.

Australian world number two Adam Scott has never been on a triumphant Internationals team despite playing in the Presidents Cup on six occasions, and expressed concern about the imbalance between the two sides on the eve of last week's edition.

"We need to make this thing really relevant, make it a real competition, because it's got a bit lopsided the last few outings," the Masters champion said. "I think we've got a team that can win, but the only way we can do it is by playing good and wanting it more than the Americans."

Despite mounting a gutsy fightback in Sunday's concluding singles session which they dominated, the Internationals faced an uphill task in their bid to beat a potent U.S. team and ultimately lost by 18-1/2 points to 15-1/2.

While the 12-man American lineup at Muirfield Village bristled with six players ranked in the world's top 10, the Internationals had eight players from outside the top 25.

"Absolutely," Internationals captain Nick Price said when asked if the depth in strength on the U.S. team had been the most significant factor. "That's pretty apparent."

Price firmly believes that the Presidents Cup should adopt the more compact Ryder Cup format to ensure the event's survival and to create closer competition, though his suggestion has been turned down by PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem.   Continued...

 
U.S. team captain Fred Couples holds the Presidents Cup during a team picture after the U.S. defeated the International team in the 2013 Presidents Cup golf tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio October 6, 2013. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes