The total number of matches will be reduced from 34 to 30, which remains slightly higher than the 28 matches contested at the Ryder Cup. While in previous years there were six four-ball and six foursomes matches across the first two days of the Presidents Cup – meaning each player on the 12-man rosters had to play both days – there will now be five matches per day. Saturday’s schedule will include four four-ball and four foursomes matches, as opposed to five matches per session, followed by 12 singles matches on Sunday.
“For quite some time, the International team has been advocating for a reduction in total points, while the U.S. team felt strongly that the Presidents Cup format should remain as it has been,” Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said as part of the announcement. “After numerous meetings and discussions, it was apparent that both captains felt passionate about their respective positions, as did their potential team members. But with no clear consensus between the two sides, it was up to me to make a decision that would be best for the event overall.”
An additional change was made to match scoring, as matches that are tied after 18 holes will now be declared a draw, with half-points awarded. In previous years, singles’ matches went to extra holes until a winner was decided if the overall event winner had yet to be determined.
Each player from both the U.S. and International sides will be required to participate in two of the first four sessions, a reduction from the previous rule that required players to participate in three of the first four sessions. Additionally, the order of the match format on Thursday and Friday will be determined by the host team’s captain.
With the U.S. winning each of the last five editions of the biennial event and often boasting a deeper roster, International captain Nick Price has been pushing for a change to the format for several years.
“I think just looking at the record of the Presidents Cup, we’re 1-9-1. I think all of us on the team feel that a points change would really make it more exciting and more competitive,” Price said earlier this month at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. “That’s the only reason that people say, well, it’s because you want to win. I think win, lose or draw, we all want to see it come down to the final match on Sunday instead of being done with eight matches left on the golf course on Sunday. That’s a big deal.”
The Presidents Cup will be held Oct. 8-11 at Jack Nicklaus Golf Course Korea in Incheon, South Korea.