Aussies On International Duty

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Adam Scott leads the Internationals team this week. Image courtesy of Images
Adam Scott snapped Australia’s Masters drought earlier this year but he’ll face almost as big a challenge in ending another long run of outs when he leads the Internationals at the Presidents Cup this week. The United States has won on seven of the nine occasions the event has been held, with the Internationals’ only victory coming in 1998 at Royal Melbourne. The last renewal was held on the famed Sandbelt course, with the US winning 19-15 .

The event features a mixture of foursomes, four-balls and singles matches. As with the Ryder Cup, the Presidents Cup concludes on the Sunday with twelve singles matches. Muirfield Village in Ohio, a course designed by the area’s most famous sportsman, Jack Nicklaus, is the location for the showdown starting on Friday morning (AEST).

Tiger Woods has owned Muirfield having won the Memorial Tournament there on five occasions and he has never failed to make the cut. He has the most foursomes wins in Presidents Cup history with 10, which is in stark contrast to his poor Ryder Cup record. Scott is the top-ranked International; he has a solid record at Muirfield with two top 10s and seven cuts made from eight starts, but his performances at the Masters, The Open Championship and the PGA Championship can’t be ignored.

World No. 8 Matt Kuchar won the Memorial Tournament this year, which was his fifth straight top-10 finish at Muirfield. After a disappointing Presidents Cup debut, should be primed to be a point-scoring machine for the US this year. He also won the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, so he can obviously handle this format. He has lost all three singles matches in his appearances at the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, though.

The Internationals look strong at the top, but the bottom six need to fire to reclaim the Cup. South African Louis Oosthuizen has been out with neck, back and hip injuries since July and only returned to competitive action last week at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Argentinian Angel Cabrera - who pushed Scott in to a playoff at the Masters - has been troubled by a nagging wrist injury of late.

First-timer Graham DeLaet might be the surprise packet for the Internationals. He led the PGA in total driving and ranked third in greens in regulation. He has been ultra-consistent and had a stack of top-10 finishes while finishing eighth in the recent FedEx Cup.

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