Niall Lyons shares his betting tips and preview for the Presidents Cup complete with a few words from golf analyst Duncan Carey.
USA vs Internationals
Presidents Cup 2022 Preview
Imagine climbing Everest with no oxygen and no shoes, well that's the task Trevor Immelman has in his hands as expedition leader this week at Quail Hollow.
With the USA team as short as 1/9 (1/7 best price) for this year's Presidents Cup, it certainly tempers enthusiasm from a betting perspective, but as we saw with Willett on the 18th green last weekend, this sport can throw up just about anything when you least expect it.
Two of the American team (Thomas and Homa) have won at Quail Hollow in the last couple of years to compound the visible gap in quality between the two teams. It's a difficult task to say the least.
Exclusive Duncan Carey Interview
Luckily I got a few words from Duncan Carey who works with various PGA tour pros and who this week is alongside Trevor Immelman in his role as Data Analyst. Duncan has been involved in the team process all year leading up to this and is under no illusions of the task ahead.
"That's the beauty of the sport," he said. "If the favourite won every week we would all get bored. We are the underdogs but that has been fully embraced and all of the players are on the same page which is a huge thing.
"We have to make sure that all the small 1% gains that we can do to edge the odds back in our favour are done and that's exactly what Trevor and us in the analytics team have been doing the last 18 months. The team is the best-prepared team I've been involved in."
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Duncan has worked on previous winning Ryder Cup Europe teams, so to say this is the best-prepared team he has seen says a lot. The Internationals are up against it, but the all the pressure is on the Americans and they have a target on their back.
Plenty has been written about the players who are missing this week but there were also eyebrows raised at one or two of the International's picks. Ryan Fox has voiced his disappointment at not being on the team and may have something to prove this week in France. Lucas Herbert, a PGA tour winner, is another who was a surprise omission.
"We have full faith in the 12 and nobody is seen as an extra pick"
Duncan explains their thinking: "It would have been easy for us to just go down the qualifying list and replace the players with the next player. We didn't do that, instead, we analysed what the team needed, the course fit and picked the players who we felt improved the team.
"Some of the players who have left the tour aren't in the best form either so who's to say they would have performed well this week. We have full faith in the 12 and nobody is seen as an extra pick.
"All teams by this stage have a plan on pairings and best/worst case scenario contingencies. As the week continues, though, the work behind the scenes will be instrumental in the Internationals further bridging that gap."
Duncan continued: "Once play starts we will monitor all of the player's performance so we can understand if a pairing has worked and who was the dominant player in that pair.
"It's often the case in Match Play that some pairings that lose actually perform better than some who win so we need that perspective for the next session of that format.
"Also, we will see how the course plays and help the players and caddies in adjusting strategy. The re-routing will be interesting and has made for a different setup. We have found some edges here which I won't divulge just now but let's say the changes have added a few % in our favour.
"I think the rough won't be as penal as usual which is a trait of American Ryder/Presidents Cup setups and I expect a few low-hanging tree limbs will have been chopped away!"
Presidents Cup 2022 Betting Tips
Taylor Pendrith Top International Point Scorer & Top Overall Points Scorer
Overall it certainly seems the vibes coming from the team are good but without doubt, the task remains huge and whether they can make a match of it remains to be seen. I'll be surprised if they do however and I expect a comfortable victory for the home team.
Correct score betting isn't of any interest as it's a bit of a lottery and the wide margin victories are sufficiently short enough to steer clear from. The bet that interests me the most is Taylor Pendrith to be the top scorer for the away team.
I have made no secret on this column that I'm a big fan of the Canadian and having missed a large chunk of this season due to injury came back in July and posted five top 13 finishes in seven starts. His long game has been on fire for a couple of months now and that bodes well for Quail Hollow where he can really mix it with some of the best Americans.
Corey Conners looks to be a perfect partner for fourballs and I'm hopeful that he'll be used in foursomes also with his prowess off the tee. Performance-wise lately he sits right along the best in the International team yet is among the bottom handful in the betting.
The added bonus is that it should not take a lot to win this and if Conners does partner him in the fourballs then I see them as a formidable partnership who will have a chance against any pairing the home team put out. With 66/1 on offer overall, I'll have a small tickle on that also in the unlikely scenario that the Internationals manage a win this week.
Tom Kim is another who could shine this week and certainly looks danger in this market, but he has been suitably priced by the layers and the price around 6-7/1 looks about right.
2pts each-way T.Pendrith Top International Points Scorer 14/1 (1/4 3)
0.5pt each-way T.Pendrith Top Overall Points Scorer 66/1 (1/4 4)
X.Schauffele Top Overall Points Scorer at 8/1 (Four Places)
With the strength the Americans have on paper they may plan to rest everyone before the Singles on Sunday but I think if anyone has the chance to play all five it may be Xander Schauffele. Cantlay and Schauffele went two from two in foursomes at last year's Ryder Cup and they'll be a formidable pairing once again I'm sure. They also played fourballs in the Ryder but were split up for that and with Kisner seemingly a weak link in this team, these lads may play all five matches.
Schauffele was the one displaying world-class form in recent months with a handful of wins and finishing the playoffs with two top four finishes. He should relish this task and I wouldn't be surprised should he whip out a trademark Match Play cigar after the scenes last year at Whistling Straits.
2pts each-way X.Schauffele Top Overall Points Scorer 8/1 (1/4 4)