Presidents Cup grades: Jordan Spieth leads victorious U.S. team
With the 14th Presidents Cup in the books, here are grades for the victorious U.S. players and captain at Quail Hollow:
Jordan Spieth: A+
Why the grade? Not only did Spieth not lose a match, but he also earned his first full singles point in eight career cups, between Ryder and Presidents. It’s hard to believe this guy wasn’t on the last Presidents Cup team. Holing long putts. Chipping in. Man, he was fun to watch.
Max Homa: A
Why the grade? He entered the week with momentum after winning in Napa, and he never slowed in his cup debut. The exclamation point came as he stopped Tom Kim in his tracks in singles. Tony Finau called him, “Superman,” and while I’m not going that far, Homa has definitely boosted his stock should he need another captain’s pick in the future.
Xander Schauffele: A
Why the grade? Schauffele teamed with best friend Patrick Cantlay – and was clearly the better of the two – to go 2-1 in team play before adding a point against Corey Conners in singles. He could get knocked down a bit considering he almost coughed up a point to Conners, but that par save to win No. 15 after driving his tee ball into the creek was just too good. Plus, post-cup win Xander is a beauty.
Patrick Cantlay: A-
Why the grade? He’ll be paired with Schauffele for every team format until he retires, and though Schauffele factored more in the fourballs, Cantlay stepped on International veteran Adam Scott’s neck early in singles and never let him in the match.
Justin Thomas: A-
Why the grade? Rode Spieth a little more this week, but that just makes up for past cups in which Thomas has played better than his good pal. There’s no ignoring that Thomas is a force in these team events, now 17-5-3, but Si Woo Kim may have provided future Thomas opponents the formula for getting under the American’s skin and beating him.
Tony Finau: A-
Why the grade? Some might place too much blame on Kevin Kisner for he and Finau’s fourball loss to Sungjae Im and Sebastian Munoz, but Finau didn’t do himself any favors either, winning just one hole and making only three birdies. It’s clear, however, that he and Max Homa make a great partnership in foursomes, and notching seven birdies to earn the winning point against Taylor Pendrith, for as poor as the Canadian played, was impressive, especially considering how good Finau’s putter looked.
Collin Morikawa: B+
Why the grade? He had paired so well with Dustin Johnson at last year’s Ryder Cup that you wondered how he would fare this week. Morikawa quieted any skeptics with a strong showing, which was capped with a 3-and-2 singles win over Mito Pereira in a match where Morikawa led 3 up at the turn despite both players being bogey-free. Had he played more, he could’ve been in A territory.
Sam Burns: B
Why the grade? No wins, but the rookie played every session and showed why he’ll be on plenty more of these teams. He carried Scottie Scheffler for three sessions before carding eight birdies in a fourball loss alongside Billy Horschel and then losing a hard-fought match to Hideki Matsuyama. We don’t have the exact stat, but he made a mile’s worth of putts.
Cameron Young: C
Why the grade? He had his moments, especially early alongside Morikawa in foursomes, but he looked like a rookie as the event wore on. He compounded mistakes early in singles against Sungjae Im and never led in that match.
Billy Horschel: D+
Why the grade? His lone win came in fourballs against a struggling Canadian duo and he lost another fourball match in which his partner, Burns, carded eight birdies. Add in a singles loss to K.H. Lee after he was 4 over through 10 holes, plus his usual putter-throwing antics, and Horschel gets a failing grade in his cup debut.
Kevin Kisner: D-
Why the grade? Kisner is a great putter, but he was severely disadvantaged by the lengthy Quail Hollow. Had it not been for some great quotes and handshake-line banter, we would’ve forgotten he was even on the team. Justin Thomas did.
Scottie Scheffler: F
Why the grade? This is based largely on expectations. Just the second world No. 1 to not win a match and second since Nick Price did so at the very first Presidents Cup in 1994. Shocking, and had the U.S. lost, his poor week would have been heavily scrutinized. But they won, and Scheffler is likely not going to have another one of these cup performances.
Captain Davis Love III: A
Why the grade? His juggernaut team was expected to win, and it did. He didn’t do anything special, but he also just let his players play. There’s something to be said about that.