A three-week feast of matchplay golf culminates this week with The Presidents Cup at Lake Mannassas in Virginia and the United States team hope they can reverse the heavy defeat inflicted upon them in 1998 at Melbourne.
If the golf is anything like the Solheim Cup or the Alfred Dunhill Cup, we are in for a treat this weekend and maybe matchplay, the true form of the game in many peoples eyes, will become a more regular feature on the world tours.
Team USA, who lost The Presidents Cup to the International Team in Australia in 1998, hopes that a "home-field advantage" will help to return the trophy to the land of the Stars and Stripes.
But it is likely to be a tough proposition as the International team look strong this year. However, both previous trips to the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club have proven lucky for the USA as The International team have finished second both times in 1994 and 1996.
The two 12-man teams square off starting on Thursday afternoon. The U.S. is captained by Ken Venturi, the International side by Peter Thomson for the third time.
The winning team will need 16½ points to grab the trophy of which President Bill Clinton is the honorary Chairman of the event this year.
Eight players, five for the United States and three for the International side, make their first Presidents Cup playing appearances this week at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club.
U.S. first-timers Paul Azinger and Hal Sutton both have previous Presidents Cup ties. Sutton was eligible to compete in 1998 but had to withdraw due to the death of his father-in-law and was replaced by Lee Janzen.
Azinger served as Captain's Assistant to Hale Irwin in 1994, during his recovery from cancer. The other first-timers are Notah Begay III, Stewart Cink and Kirk Triplett for the USA and Michael Campbell, Retief Goosen and Mike Weir for the Internationals.
Ken Venturi is Captain for the United States, Peter Thomson (for the third time) for the International Team.
Tournament Format: Four-day match-play competition, featuring 12 players representing the United States against 12 players representing the rest of the world, excluding Europe. A total of 32 matches will be played. All members of each team must play in two segments of either Foursomes or Four-Ball Matches during the Thursday-Friday segments.
Thursday, Oct. 19 (afternoon) Five Foursomes Matches
Friday, Oct. 20 (morning) Five Four-Ball Matches Friday, Oct. 20
(afternoon) Five Foursomes Matches
Saturday, Oct. 21 (afternoon) Five Four-Ball Matches
Sunday, Oct. 22 16 Single Matches
Each match is worth one point. Sixteen and one-half points are needed for victory. There will be no playoffs for Foursomes, Four-Ball or Singles Matches all square after 18 holes; each side will receive one-half point. If The Presidents Cup is tied after the completion of all matches, two players – one from each side designated in advance by his Captain – will play off to determine the winner.