The Presidents Cup is the store-brand Ryder Cup, pitting an American team of twelve golfers against a team of twelve golfers from non-European countries of the world. They’re all very talented players, of course, but the event was created in 1994 by the PGA Tour to get in on some of the sweet team-golf action the PGA of America had a monopoly on by running the more well-regarded, tradition-rich Ryder Cup.
The Americans have only lost once, in 1998; the event was tied in 2003, and then ever since the United States has dominated, though the 2015 event in South Korea was a close contest.
The Presidents Cup did offer an all-time Phil Mickelson press conference moment, though:
Happy Presidents Cup week pic.twitter.com/Sm8B74VHFz
— Brendan Porath (@BrendanPorath) September 25, 2017
The 2017 event teed off today from Liberty National outside New York City, a course that has some great views of the Manhattan skyline and just about nothing else going for it. (It was built on a former Superfund site, though, so I guess even a boring golf course beats that.)
The main draw today, though, might have been the special guests on the first tee. President is right in the name of the event, after all, so maybe it shouldn’t be such a surprise when some Presidents show up, but there they were:
First tee. Today's Big Three. pic.twitter.com/OjmTTb73eq
— Jeff Babineau (@GolfweekBabz) September 28, 2017
Right after this, Phil Mickelson pulled out his phone and took a selfie with the presidents. pic.twitter.com/1OoUoraz2I
— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelESPN) September 28, 2017
When you can take a selfie with three US Presidents, you do it!! pic.twitter.com/E3pNlZ07gs
— Tim Mickelson (@goodwalkspoiled) September 28, 2017
Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, the three most recent leaders of the free world, posed with the wives and girlfriends of the American team:
— Geoff Shackelford (@GeoffShac) September 28, 2017
That’s likely to be the biggest part of the week, because there’s really not a whole lot at stake for the players. The International side don’t really have a lot of common bonds, and the Americans all consider the Ryder Cup to be the real prize for events like these. But hey, if it wasn’t happening, there’d be no golf at all, and it is fun to see some different formats in play for the sport.