BY: Robbie Vogel
In case you haven’t heard, the 2019 Presidents Cup starts tomorrow. Or, today. I’m not entirely sure since it’s on the other side of the planet. Regardless, it’s a chance to watch 24 of the world’s best golfers go head to head at Australia’s Royal Melbourne, one of the undisputed top ten golf courses ever built. But more importantly, it’s a chance to do something exhilarating.
It’s a chance to root against America. Knock on wood if you’re with me.
*Pause while the narrow-minded navel-gazers close this browser tab*
Still here? Great. Because when you think about it, this really isn’t a difficult case to make. Below are five reasons you should confidently and justifiably root for the International squad. If you’re in the right headspace to receive information that could possibly hurt you, then read on, and prepare to swap that Budweiser out for a Foster’s (it’s Australian for beer).
1 – Patrick Reed is on the American team.
You had to know this would be number one, right? As if everything he’s done up to this point in his career wasn’t enough, this latest cheating incident rockets him to the top of golf’s All-Hate Team.
It’s an incredibly flagrant infraction, and one that should likely have resulted in a suspension from professional golf were it not for the intervention of a Deus ex Slugger White. Reed refused to even admit any wrongdoing, claiming that his pail-and-shovel routine looked worse than it was due to a bad camera angle. To which International team member (and Australian) Cam Smith flatly responded, “I don’t have any sympathy for anyone that cheats.” Preach, flat-brim king. Preach. Cam has since proclaimed whatever previously constituted as a “friendship” with Reed, to be over. Bringing Reed’s list of friends down to zero, from zero.
2 – Bryson DeChambeau is on the American team.
Do we really have to go over this?
Since this article was published, Bryson has spouted off even more cockamamie bullshit, including loudly proclaiming his desire to bulk up. Or, in his words, to “become massive.” Apparently, this millionaire professional athlete doesn’t believe he’s strong enough and is legitimately studying so-called “gymnast influencers” on Instagram in hopes of discovering the secret to their physical prowess. Somebody run this kid over with a range picker.
3 – The Internationals are more interesting.
Below are the Presidents Cup team rosters, with helpful annotations from yours truly.
Adam Scott – As close as you can get to sex while watching golf.
Hideki Matsuyama – Top-level ballstriker, tragically streaky putter.
Louis Oosthuizen – Career runner-up Grand Slam. Doesn’t even really like golf, just wants to work on his farm in South Africa. Until recently, shipped his mattress with him to tour events.
Marc Leishman – Top 10 nicest human being in the world. Has an amazing family story (shameless video plug – watch it!).
Abraham Ancer – Born in Texas, but plays for Mexico. Won the Australian Open last year.
Cam Smith – Salt of the earth Aussie. Called Patrick Reed a cheater.
Haotong Li – Enigma
CT Pan – “The Bread Man”
Sungjae Im – Has seemingly played golf for 15 straight months without stopping. Is an absolute stud and cute to look at, in an adorable teddy bear kinda way.
Byeong-Hun An – Youngest ever US Amateur winner at 17. Parents both won medals in Olympic table tennis.
Joaquin Niemann – Chilean, former # 1 Amateur in the world, earned a PGA Tour card at age 20 without ever having any professional status before that
Adam Hadwin – Canadian, elite putter, decent beard, all-around great guy.
Tiger – Willfully used a Captain’s pick on Reed. The shitstorm that has enveloped his team the week? He had that coming.
Dustin Johnson – Big, brooding, mega athletic, hot yet vapid WAG, generationally talented, the kind of kid who would shove you in a locker without any hesitation.
Brooks Koepka – Big, brooding, mega athletic, hot yet vapid WAG, generationally talented, the kind of kid who would shove you in a locker without any hesitation.
Patrick Reed – See above.
Gary Woodland – Played college basketball, won the US Open, is still somehow boring.
Tony Finau – Speaks softly and carries a big stick. Does not consume coffee. Still a top-notch bloke though, he can stay.
Justin Thomas – Made fun of Patrick Reed. He can stay too. [Editors Counterpoint: Kick him off the Tour]
Matt Kuchar – Cheapskate and scummy person.
Patrick Cantlay – Highly talented but slow to the point of being unwatchable
Webb Simpson – Has made a career Renaissance, gets the most out of his game, has a disgusting follow through. [Editors Note: S/O Dowd]
Xander Schauffele – Underrated and unknown. Should be one of the breakout stars here. He can stay.
Bryson Dechambeau – See above.
…the United States team is simply not as fun to root for as a collection of human beings.
4 – Repetitive dominance gets very stale, very quickly.
Was the NL East any fun to watch during the 1990s? No? How about any AFC East game from about 2001 onwards? Probably not, right? It’s because there’s simply nothing interesting about watching one team dominate.
The Presidents Cup has been played 12 times. The Internationals have won once, the two teams tied in 2003, and the Americans have won it ten times, including the last SEVEN straight. We’re closing in on Globetrotters vs. Generals territory.
5 – Tiger Woods is the playing Captain.
This, in and of itself, is awesome, and I’d understand if you want to root for the Stars and Stripes based on that alone. But check this out…
Tiger’s record as a player in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup is not as incredible as the rest of his glorious career. To wit: he is 13-21-3 in the Ryder Cup, going 4-2-2 in Singles, 4-9-1 in Foursomes, and 5-10-0 in Fourballs. At 24-15-1, his Presidents Cup record is better, but still not the dominating ledger you’d assume to see from the best player of all time when matched up against players from outside of Europe.
If Tiger plays poorly at this Presidents Cup, and/or the Americans lose, the Woodsian fallout would be twofold. First, Tiger’s detractors would gain a leg to stand on (albeit a short, stunted one) when criticizing his playing career. And in the world of sports discussion, any uncertainty is good for business.
Secondly, should Tiger fail at this event, it would leave the sour taste of defeat on his tongue. And that’s a taste that the famously competitive Woods cannot abide. Fans of Tiger should be rooting for an International upset this time around, if only to ensure one more glimpse of their man stalking the fairways in a team competition, seeking revenge. How many days until Ryder Cup 2020?