Former Masters champions Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama will lead an inexperienced International team into battle after they were paired together for the Presidents Cup’s opening foursome.
The pair will tee-off against the United States partnership of Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele at 1.05pm local time on Thursday (3.05am Friday AEST).
With a record eight Presidents Cup debutants on his squad, International captain Trevor Immelman will be counting on his two most battle-tested players – Australian Scott and Japan’s Matsuyama – to provide a steady launch on Thursday’s at north Carolina’s Quail Hollow Club against the heavily favoured Americans.
“I’m looking forward to it,” said the 42-year-old Scott, who has played 44 Presidents Cup matches, second only to Phil Mickelson’s 55.
“I don’t know how many more of these I’ll play, so I’m kind of embracing every opportunity, whether it’s good, bad, indifferent, or difficult.”
Scott, playing in his 10th Presidents Cup and Matsuyama, in his fifth, will face a well-oiled US pair in world No.4 Cantlay and No.5 Schauffele, who teamed up to win the Zurich Classic in New Orleans in April and played all their matches together at the 2019 Presidents Cup.
Schauffele and Cantlay are 4-0-0 in foursomes, or alternate shot format, across the 2019 Presidents Cup and 2021 Ryder Cup events.
The second match out will see US captain Davis Love III pit multiple major winners Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas against South Korea’s Im Sung-jae and Canadian Corey Conners.
Two South Korean Presidents Cup rookies – 20-year-old dynamo Tom Kim, the youngest player in this year’s competition, and K.H. Lee – take on the US duo of Cameron Young and Collin Morikawa.
The fourth match out will feature close friends world No.1 and Masters champion Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns, three-times a winner on the PGA Tour this season, going against South Korea’s Kim Si-woo and Australia’s Cam Davis.
That match will tee off at 3.41am Friday AEST.
The final match of day one will pit Tony Finau and Max Homa up against two more Presidents Cup newcomers in Canada’s Taylor Pendrith and Chile’s Mito Pereira.
The match play event pits a team of US players against a squad of players from countries outside of Europe.
The United States holds an 11-1-1 record in the biennial competition, including a 16-14 victory in the most recent edition in Melbourne in 2019.
This year’s matches were originally scheduled for 2021, before being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s been a three-year gap because of COVID,” International team assistant captain Geoff Ogilvy of Australia said on Wednesday.
“The chat groups never stopped. Communication has been great. Trevor (Immelman) has been an incredible captain to this point getting everyone excited, getting it all organised.
“We’re just excited to get going. It feels like you wait a long time to get these things started.”