Oct 08

A Presidents Cup primer, explaining this biennial matchup

The 11th Presidents Cup kicks off on Thursday from Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in, as you might guess, Incheon, South Korea. It's the biennial match pitting the Americans against the Internationals, a team formed from picking players born in every country that isn't the United States or Europe.

The competition, owned and wholly run by the PGA Tour, was first played in 1994, and the Americans have dominated the series. The U.S. has an 8-1-1 record, losing at Royal Melbourne in 1998 and tying at Fancourt in South Africa in 2003 after a sudden-death playoff between Tiger Woods and Ernie Els couldn't settle the issue. 

Whether you're turning into the Presidents Cup for the first time or you're the rare diehard fan of this lopsided series, here's a primer to get you ready for the matches.

2015 Presidents Cup 


United States

Captain: Jay Haas (first time)

Automatic qualifiers: Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Patrick Reed, Matt Kuchar, Chris Kirk, Zach Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson

Captain's picks: Bill Haas (11th in points), Phil Mickelson (29th in points), J.B. Holmes (12th in points, replacing Jim Furyk, who pulled out with a wrist contusion)


Captain: Nick Price (lost in 2013 at Muirfield Village)

Automatic qualifiers: Jason Day, Adam Scott, Marc Leishman, Danny Lee, Anirban Lahiri, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Branden Grace, Thongchai Jaidee, Hideki Matsuyama

Captain's picks: Steven Bowditch, Sangmoon Bae

Format and Schedule

A total of 30 matches played over four days (Thursday-Sunday), a decrease of four points from the prior format. The United States will retain the cup if they earn 15 points. Either team will win with 15.5 points. 

Day 1, Thursday: Five foursomes (alternate shot) matches

Day 2, Friday: Five fourballs (best ball) matches

Day 3, Saturday: Session 1 -- Four foursomes matches; Session 2 -- Four fourballs matches

Each of the 12 players on each team must play at least twice through the first four sessions

Day 4, Sunday: 12 singles matches

TV Times

All coverage airs on Golf Channel in the United States.

Day 1, Wednesday: 10 p.m.-3 a.m. Eastern

Day 2, Thursday: 8:30 p.m.-3 a.m.

Day 3, Friday: 6 p.m.-4 a.m.

Day 4, Saturday: 9:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m.

Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.