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2022 Presidents Cup: These sleepers could emerge as heroes for U.S., international teams at Quail Hollow

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You already know the names: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Adam Scott, Hideki Matsuyama. But what about those who have not yet made a name for themselves? A total of 14 rookies will take part in the 2022 Presidents’ Cup, six of whom play for the US team, and eight for the national team.

While those Americans include Scotty Scheffler and Colleen Morikawa, who were influential in the US beating the Europeans in the 2021 Ryder Cup, this week still marks their first experience in the Presidents’ Cup. Just a year ago, Captain Steve Stricker considered Scheffler a borderline choice for the Whistling Straits. The Wisconsin native’s choice proved wise, as Scheffler played a key role in the competition, dethroning John Rahm in singles. He later became #1 in OWGR, a position he has held ever since.

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Something similar may be waiting for Davis Love III or Trevor Immelman and one of their team members this time around. The Quail Hollow Club can be a launching pad for some of the game’s youngest stars or even veterans, and the atmosphere within the team will make for big moments.

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In 2019, Abraham Anser and Sungjae Im proved they could do it internationally. Each scored 3.5 points at Royal Melbourne and nearly led the international team to a dramatic upset over the Americans led by Tiger Woods. Facing tough odds once again, the internationals will need more than a couple of fresh faces to revitalize if they are expected to handle the unthinkable.

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Top scorer odds provided by Caesars Sportsbooks.

Potential unlikely heroes for the United States

Tony Finau (12-1, top scorer): He may be one of the oldest members of the team and has extensive experience playing in the previous three team tournaments, but Finau is still treated as an elite player. After winning twice at the end of the summer, the world No. 14 nearly added another at the St. Jude Championship, which would have taken his career win total to five in the blink of an eye.

He impressed with his 2018 Ryder Cup debut at Le National where, despite losing to the US, Finau set up a 2-1-0 record, including beating Tommy Fleetwood 6-4 on Sunday. Influential at Royal Melbourne and Wisconsin, the 33-year-old will serve as a key cog at Charlotte with Quail Hollow statistically in his lane.

Sam Burns (12-1): A three-time winner of the 2021/22 season, Burns has already performed well in team competition. Along with Billy Horschel, the SEC duo finished second at the Zurich Classic, behind their US teammates Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantley. Despite the fact that this is his first Presidents Cup, Burns hardly feels like a rookie.

It will most likely be difficult for both of them to pair up with Horschel as they can run as hot as anyone else on the green. When not paired with Horschel, his good friend Scheffler could be the perfect partner, as each of them’s laid-back, easy-going nature is perfect for the tense and chaotic environment that Quayle Hollow will consume.

Cameron Young (18-1): Of all the Presidents Cup players, Young is second only to Scheffler in the last three months in terms of the number of shots scored from the tee. Presumptive Rookie of the Year is familiar with being one spot short, as he made seven podium finishes in his 2021-2022 campaign, including the PGA Championship and The Open.

Young is the perfect fit for Quayle Hollow and his ability to stand out should stand him in good stead. He seems to be playing with the last trump card on his shoulder and if he can channel that silent killer mentality into a team environment it could just be the start of a prolific Presidents Cup career.

Potential unlikely heroes for international

Corey Conners (28-1): Team players are in the hole before the tee is stuck in the ground. They have to rely on some of their known magnitudes without the depth of the US team, one of which is Conners. The Canadian may technically be a rookie, but his hitting the ball could give the Americans a headache.

Second in driving accuracy and sixth in hits scored over the past three months, the Conners are one of the few players who are not inferior to the Americans in this regard. He often struggles on and around the pitch, but we’ve seen bad players like Sergio Garcia thrive in that arena. Perhaps the same will happen with Conners.

Taylor Pendrit (55-1): Pendrit, the second Canadian after Captain Immelman, could become a star. After returning from injury in mid-summer, Pendrit has finished in the top 15 six times in his last eight tournaments, including finishing second to Finau at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Pendrit is supremely off target – third in this area – and has the firepower to dismantle the American side. Like Conners, the stick can create problems, but if you strategically team up with Tom Kim or Christian Bezuidenhout, these problems can be dispelled.

K. H. Lee (70-1): sexiest golfer in the world quickly became one of the best golfers in the world. Having successfully defended his Byron Nelson title last season, Lee looked into the eyes of Americans Spit, Thomas and Schauffel – and even his teammate Matsuyama – on his way to his second PGA Tour win.

A moment is never too important for Lee; this was demonstrated in the FedEx Cup playoffs when he made it to the Tour Championship by finishing in T5 at the BMW Championship. He ranks sixth in hits scored, and while the results at Quayle Hollow weren’t memorable, he put in some strong runs, including 5-66 to start the 2021 Wells Fargo Championship.


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