Essential Golf: A passion for the Game

The Big Team Events – Presidents Cup 2024

The Big Team Events - Presidents Cup 2024
(Zuma Press/Alamy)

The decision to hold the 2024 Presidents Cup (September 26-29) at the Royal Montreal Golf Club in Canada may turn out to be a key factor in helping the International Team keep this fall’s event close—or even end its nine-match losing streak this fall. 

No one understands more than International captain Mike Weir how fiercely Canadians love their golf. He was transformed into a national hero when he won the Masters in 2003 and became the first Canadian to win a major championship. 

Stoking the Flames

Weir will likely stoke the “us vs. them” flames by including as many of his countrymen as possible. 

“Guys are very interested,” said Weir, who slid a few hats and shirts into different lockers during the 2023 Canadian Open to raise the enthusiasm. “I’m getting a lot of questions about it internally. Guys are very interested.”

Weir will no doubt have Presidents Cup veteran Corey Conners on the roster and could also add other Canadians like Adam Hadwin, Nick Taylor, who was the toast of Canada after he won the 2023 Canadian Open, Adam Svensson, and Mackenzie Hughes, who recently had his status elevated to play in the PGA TOUR’s Signature Events.  

“I think anybody who’s been on the team knows how special it is and so they want to be on the team,” Weir said. “We have some great Canadians playing really well. That would be a real thrill for me to, you know, if two, three, four of these guys can make the team, it would be really special.”

It may also be necessary. Since LIV players are disqualified from competing in the Presidents Cup, the International side will need all the help it can get. The LIV-free event robs the depth of an already thin team that will be without Cam Smith, Louis Oosthuizen, Joaquin Niemann, and Mito Periera.  

Strong Internationals

The Internationals will rely on the strong Korean presence of Tom Kim, Si Woo Kim, and Sungjae Im, Australian Cameron Davis and New Zealand’s Ryan Fox, along with major champion-winning veterans like Hideki Matsuyama, Jason Day, and Adam Scott, who has played on the last 10 teams.

The International team will give automatic spots to the six top players on the Official World Golf Ranking, with Weir picking the remaining six players. 

U.S. Team Choices

The U.S. team will be made up of six automatic qualifiers—the top six on the FedExCup points list—and six independent selections made by captain Jim Furyk. And since the PGA TOUR owns the Presidents Cup, there’s no way a LIV player will be able to compete, like Brooks Koepka did for the U.S. Ryder Cup team. 

That removes one of the possible distractions for Furyk and it doesn’t really handicap a U.S. team that dominates the rankings and remains the prohibitive favorite to win again. Unless that big Canadian crowd has something to say about it. 

This was first published in Essential Golf – you can read the complete magazine here.