The Presidents Cup and the Ryder Cup are two very different events. For starters, the U.S. has seen plenty of success over the years in the Presidents Cup and very little recently in the Ryder Cup... and usually with the same crop of players.
So what gives?
Well, that's what U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III – an assistant to Jay Haas this week in Korea at the Presidents Cup -- will be trying to figure out.
Here are four things to watch this week in the Presidents Cup related to the U.S. side that could serve the Americans well at Hazeltine in 2016 for the Ryder Cup.
4. Long list of potential 2016 U.S. Ryder Cup team members. In an interview with Love last week at Hazeltine National Golf Club, he noted that this Presidents Cup team will likely feature 6-8 players or more that we'll see on the Ryder Cup team. It's another opportunity for Love to get an inside look at the chemistry of some of the players he'll rely on to lead his team.
3. Pairings we can learn from. With a lot of new blood recently in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, it means we're seeing new pairings in the fourballs and foursomes matches. This is fantastic for Love. What the U.S. has done in the past hasn't been working – pairings like Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker, or Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson just to name two. For the first fourballs session at the President Cup this week, we see the likes of Watson and J.B. Holmes – two bombers – together, as well as Phil Mickelson with Zach Johnson and Jordan Spieth with Dustin Johnson. It's refreshing, new and the opportunity to for Love to see if this fresh approach works.
2. Confidence of the U.S. players. It's easy to see through the last several years that the U.S. team is far more loose in the Presidents Cup setting than they are in the Ryder Cup setting. Of course, you can attribute that to the outcome in those two different venues. While the U.S. goes to a Presidents Cup "expecting" to win, you get the feeling they go to a Ryder Cup "hoping" to win. No doubt Love will be examining this and wondering how he can apply the former to the Ryder Cup.
1. Identifying a new breed of U.S. leaders. Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Patrick Reed. They may be young, but they're now the present and future of U.S. team competitions. They are no longer the kids who sit back and listen to the veterans in the room. It's their time to step up and realize they're the new leaders. They've earned the right to have a voice in the room and if they can exhibit that at the Presidents Cup with success, don't expect it to be any different at the Ryder Cup.