Adam Scott says Internationals must win the Presidents Cup this year
Australian says victory in the Presidents Cup is essential to maintain interest in biennial event
US Masters champion Adam Scott says the Internationals must beat the US to win the Presidents Cup golf matches for the first time in 15 years or lose any competitive credibility.
The 10th edition of the biennial showdown between United States and non-European squads begins on Thursday at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Muirfield Village, with the Americans owning a 7-1-1 edge in the rivalry.
"The Internationals need to step up and win the thing and make it a real competition," Australian Scott said. "I'm getting tired of getting killed out there. This is a big year for us."
Zimbabwe's Nick Price will guide the global stars against an American line-up featuring Fred Couples as captain in the Ryder Cup-styled event, which features 11 foursomes (alternate shot) and 11 four-ball (better ball) matches over three days and 12 concluding singles matches on Sunday.
Scott, who last April became the first Australian to win a green jacket at Augusta National, has been all of the last five winless Internationals squads.
"I think it's crucial. We have to win this year," Scott said. "The cup loses any credibility whatsoever if we don't start winning."
The Americans, not surprisingly, do not share Scott's concern. "We like the way it has gone and we would like to keep it going that way," Tiger Woods said.
"I think we have done really well in the Presidents Cup because generally we have a very deep team. You are playing four matches guaranteed and that has always suited us."
The Internationals wanted to cut pairs matches that would sit out more players but the idea was vetoed by US PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem.
"There are a few occasions we did really well, but the US team is a lot stronger," Price said. "The commissioner didn't want to do anything about the changes for this year."
Couples sees the Americans' Ryder Cup rivalry with Europe as an edge against the Internationals because it gives US players a regular test their rivals lack, although Europe has won five of the past six Ryder Cups.
"We have an advantage because we play in the Ryder Cup," Couples said. "At no time have I thought whether our team is going to win or lose or whether that would be good or bad for the Presidents Cup."
Phil Mickelson, the reigning British Open champion who will be the only man to play in all 10 Presidents Cups, says the event record is secondary.
"The tournament is about promoting the game of golf on an international level," Mickelson said. "Who loses and by how much isn't as important as having the guys get together in a competitive, friendly environment, put on a good show and have some fun doing it."