How Does the President's Cup Scoring Work?

President's Cup Golf Scoring

So the scoring for the President's Cup golf tournament is different to most of the other golf events that you may see and in particular different to all the major tournaments which work on a strokeplay basis, where the President's Cup works on a Matchplay basis. So the aim is to win matches rather than just score as low as possible.

In order to win a match the player or players in a team try to win as many holes as they can from the 18 that they may play. For each hole that they play, if they score better than their opponent then they win that hole. If they score the same as their opponent (i.e they take the same number of shots to sink their ball in the hole) then that hole is halved.

So, if one person or team wins the first hole let's say, then they go 1 Up. If the other team wins the next hole then they will go back to 'All Square' (A/S). They keep playing until either they finish all 18 holes or one person or team has won so many holes that the other team cannot catch up. For example, if one team are 5 Up and there are only 4 holes remaining, then there is no way the other team can win, so the first team is said to win that match 5&4.

For 2015 the matches have been slightly changed so that the tournament now has less games than before so that all players do not have to play in all matches - this makes it more similar to the Ryder Cup scoring.

President's Cup Format

The format of the President's Cup is similar to that of the Ryder Cup. Except that in this case the competition is between the USA and a team from non-European countries. There are 4 days of play and the matchplay format is similar to the Ryder Cup. The President's Cup is run alternate years to the Ryder Cup.

There is one main difference between the Ryder Cup and the President's Cup and that is the number of games played.

There are 12 players in each team, just like the Ryder Cup, but the players all play in more games as follows:

Thursday and Friday - there are 5 matches of Fourbballs and Five matches of Foursomes. Previously there were 6 matches of each so that all players played in these matches.
Saturday AM - 8 players from each team play in the Foursomes (4 matches)
Saturday PM - 8 players from each team play in the Fourballs (4 matches)
Sunday - all players play in the singles (12 matches)

So with a total of 30 matches, there are 30 points up for grabs and so a team can win by scoring 15 1/2 points. If it is a draw at 15 points all then the team that won the previous year keep hold of the trophy.

The President's Cup teams are from USA and International (non-Europe).
The President's Cup teams are from USA and International (non-Europe).

Foursomes Format

The foursomes format involves 2 players in each team only using one ball between them. One player is nominated to take the first tee shot and from then onwards tee shots alternate between players so one will take tee shots from the even numbered holes and one from the odd numbered holes.

The second shot is taken by the player who did not take the tee shot and so on, alternating players until the ball is holed.

The winner of the hole is the team that holes out in the fewest number of shots from that one ball.

Fourball Format

The fourball format involves 2 players on each team who each play their own ball. The team then takes the best score on each hole from either player and compares this to the best score from either player on the other team. Again the team with the best score will win that hole (or half it if both teams score the same).

So you may see a player pick up their ball if they cannot score any better than their partner.

President's Cup Singles

The singles matches are a straight matchplay between the two players and whoever gets the best score on each hole gets the point on that hole, or the hole is halved. As described above, this can go on until either the 18th hole, or the point where one player has scored more points than there are holes left to play. At this point the match will end and the player has won.

President's Cup 2015

The next President's Cup tournament will take place in South Korea, from 6-11th October 2015. It takes place in alternate years to the Ryder Cup. The location for 2015 is the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon. The two president's Cup captains are Nick Price (International Team) and Jay Haas (USA) and they will choose their teams a few weeks before the tournament.

Ten members of the USA team are chosen based on FedEx Cup points from September 2013 to September 2015 (weighted to favor points in 2015) with 2 captain's picks made in September 2015.

The International Team is made up of the top ten players in the rankings as at 8 September 2015 plus 2 captain's picks made in September 2015.

Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Map

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lions44 profile image

lions44 3 years ago from Auburn, WA

Thanks for explaining that in such a concise way. Every time someone asks me about the scoring for this event, I end up just giving them the "best ball" talk. Good job.

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