The Presidents Cup, a team match play competition featuring 24 of the world’s top golfers – 12 from the United States and 12 from around the world, excluding Europe – is held every two years, and since 1996 has alternated between United States and international venues. The Presidents Cup was developed to give the world’s best non-European players an opportunity to compete in international team match-play competition. The U.S. Team has won 10 of the 12 previous Presidents Cups, and the only outright win by the International Team came at the 1998 event in Melbourne. A historic 17-17 tie came in 2003 when the event was held in South Africa.
The first Presidents Cup was played September 16-18, 1994, at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Virginia, United States. The U.S. Team, captained by Hale Irwin, defeated the International Team, captained by David Graham, 20-12.
The United States also won the second Presidents Cup, held September 13-15, 1996, played again at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club. Arnold Palmer, no stranger to high-level international competition, had the reins as the United States edged Peter Thomson’s International Team, 16-1/2 to 15-1/2.
The 1998 Presidents Cup was played December 11-13 at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The International Team made the most of home-field advantage, winning 20-1/2 to 11-1/2. Jack Nicklaus served as captain of the U.S. Team, while Thomson repeated his role as captain for the International Team.
In 2000, the Presidents Cup returned to Robert Trent Jones, with the United States avenging its 1998 loss with a decisive 21-1/2 to 10-1/2 victory over the International Team. Thomson captained the International Team for a third time, while Ken Venturi was victorious in his debut as U.S. Team captain.
The 2003 Presidents Cup was held at The Links at Fancourt Hotel and Country Club Estate in George, South Africa. The competition ended in a tie, after both teams completed regulation with 17 points. Ernie Els of the International Team and Tiger Woods of the U.S. Team were designated to represent their teams in a sudden-death playoff. After three playoff holes, and as darkness was descending, Captains Gary Player and Nicklaus, in the spirit of the competition, decided that the two teams would share the Cup.
In 2005, Nicklaus and Player returned as captains, and the matches were held once again at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club. The tie from 2003 was broken with an 18-1/2 to 15-1/2 U.S. victory.
The U.S. Team wrapped up its fifth Presidents Cup victory in seven tries at The Royal Montreal Golf Club in 2007 with a 19-1/2 to 14-1/2 victory, the U.S. Team’s first at an international venue in the competition’s 13-year history, led once again by Nicklaus. David Toms earned the most points for the U.S. Team, while Woody Austin earned a new nickname - Aquaman - after falling into the lake on hole 14 while attempting a shot. And while his team did not win, Canadian golf hero Mike Weir thrilled the crowds with a 1-up victory over World No. 1 Tiger Woods in Sunday’s Singles competition. Player captained the International Team for a third and final time.
In 2009, the Presidents Cup was held at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, California, one of the top public golf properties in the United States. Two of the most dominant players on the PGA TOUR during the 1980s and 1990s, Fred Couples and Greg Norman led the U.S. and International Teams, respectively. The 2009 Presidents Cup marked the first time in event history that both captains were former participants. Couples appeared four times (1994, 1996, 1998, 2005) for the United States and Norman three (1996, 1998, 2000) for the Internationals, and both factored prominently in victories secured by their respective teams. As first-time captains, Couples and Norman each led strong teams with the U.S. retaining the Cup, winning for the sixth time, by a score of 19-1/2 to 14-1/2.
|The ninth playing of the event occurred November 17-20, 2011 at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club, the first international venue to host this prestigious competition more than once. The U.S. Team captured the Presidents Cup for the seventh time, led once again by Captain Couples and a 5-0-0 performance by veteran Jim Furyk. Tiger Woods clinched the Cup for the United States with a 4-and-3 win over Australia’s Aaron Baddeley in Sunday Singles. For Woods, it was the second consecutive time he had scored the winning point at the Presidents Cup, becoming only the second player to accomplish that feat (Couples, 1994, 1996) and the first captain’s pick to do so. Norman’s International Team was outscored, 8-3, in Foursomes and eventually lost the Cup 19-15.|
In 2013, the Presidents Cup was played at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, which became the first golf course to host the Ryder Cup, The Solheim Cup and the Presidents Cup. Nick Price, led the International Team, which was defeated by Couples’ U.S. Team, 18-1/2 to 15-1/2, despite an impressive Sunday charge by the Internationals. Woods clinched the victory for the U.S. Team for the third straight time, the first player in event history to accomplish that feat. Couples became the winningest captain in Presidents Cup history with a 3-0-0 record.
The Presidents Cup was held in Asia for the first time when the 2015 edition was played at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Songdo IBD, Incheon City, Korea. A tight battle between the United States and International Teams brought the competition to the final match. Bill Haas, son of U.S. Captain Jay Haas and a captain’s pick for the team, secured the winning point in dramatic fashion against South Korea’s Sangmoon Bae on the 18th hole.
The 12th Presidents Cup was contested at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey, United States, the fourth golf course in the U.S. to host the prestigious team competition. In the shadows of the Statue of Liberty, the U.S Team defeated the International Team 19-11, led by first-time captain Steve Stricker. Nick Price returned as captain for the Internationals, who gave their greatest charge on the final day, winning the Sunday Singles session 7-1/2 to 4-1/2. Rookie Daniel Berger became the youngest player to ever clinch the Presidents Cup at the age of 24. Phil Mickelson, who was a captain’s pick, became the only player to have played in all 12 Presidents Cup. When he won his Saturday morning Foursomes match, Mickelson passed Tiger Woods for the most wins in Presidents Cup history with 25.
An important hallmark of the Presidents Cup is the roster of world leaders who have served as honorary chairmen, highlighting the Presidents Cup’s global appeal, including U.S. presidents Donald J. Trump, Barack Obama (twice), Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, as well as Australian Prime Minister John Howard, South African President Thabo Mbeki, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and President of Korea Park Geun-hye. In 2017, for the first time ever, three former presidents - Obama, George W. Bush and Clinton - all attended the tournament in the same year. Also, 2017 marked the first time in history the sitting president presented the Presidents Cup to the winning team.
The Presidents Cup is a unique golf event in that there is no purse or prize money; instead, each player, captain and captain’s assistant allocates an equal portion of the funds generated to charities of his choice. From 1994 to 2015, more than $38.4 million has been raised for charity from event proceeds. The Presidents Cup has impacted more than 450 charities in 15 countries worldwide and 35 states in the U.S.