It is time for some of our favorite team play involving professional golf to take place with the Presidents Cup taking part Thursday-Sunday.

The Cup, featuring teams for the United States and an International team (everywhere but Europe) is taking place at the Quail Hollow Golf Club in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The United States leads all time 11-1-1.

The event is taking place towards the end of the first season with the PGA Tour butting heads with the new LIV Golf Tour, a Saudi-financed tour.

LIV has drawn several players from the PGA Tour throwing obscene amounts of money their way, but it has come at a price for those players jumped ship.

The PGA Tour threatened early on that any players that left would be banned from returning, would not be able to earn any world ranking points, and would not be able to play in the Presidents Cup for either the U.S. team or the International squad.

Both squads lost players but except for world No. 2 ranked Cam Smith of Australia being knocked off the International team, the teams are not greatly affected. Next year’s Ryder Cup could be much more dramatically impacted.

The format takes place over four days as compared to three for the Ryder Cup – a much more intensive golf experience.

Thursday’s first day involves five Foursome matches with the two-man teams playing alternate shot. Friday is five matches of Four-Ball (Best Ball).

Saturday will see four matches of Foursome in the morning and four matches of Four-Ball in the afternoon. The counts for 18 points and is followed Sunday by 12 singles matches involving all the players on both teams.

The winner of the Cup is the first team to reach 15.5 points. If the play ends 15-15, the Cup is shared, something that has been taken place only in 2003.

Once again, the United States is an overwhelming favorite, although the matches have been getting closer. In 2015, the U.S. won 15.5-14.5 and in 2019 the Internationals led 10-8 heading into the singles before the U.S. rallied to win 16-14.

In 2017, the U.S. rolled to a 19-11 win.

What happens this year will be played out over the next four days, but at least on paper the U.S. is loaded, even without LIV players like Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, and Brooks Koepka.

Smith is the big loss for the International team, and perhaps Louis Oosthuizen, Joaquin Nieman, and Abraham Ancer, but looking at the opening five matches, they could go either way depending on who is hot.

Here are the five Thursday matches and quick thoughts on each. All times are PDT.

10:05 a.m. – Adam Scott/Hidecki Matsuyama (Int) vs. Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele (USA): Scott has been a force for years on the tour and is a tough competitor. Matsuyama, the winner of the 2021 Masters, has shown he among the best in the world. The Cantlay/Schauffele team is huge and will have to be beat as they are not handing out any gimmes.

10:17 a.m. – Sungjae Im/Corey Conners (Int) vs. Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA): I have been a big fan of the Canadian Conners all year and Im has that ability to get hot and run off a series of birdies. Spieth and Thomas are my favorite U.S. pairing as the long-time friends play well off each other.

10:29 a.m. – Tom Kim/K.H. Lee (Int) vs. Cameron Young/Collin Morikawa (USA): The least known of the International teams, but team competitions are known as place when someone can bust out and step into the spotlight! Big moment for Young, but he has been nails in the last half of the season. Morikawa is arguably the top ball-striker on the U.S. team.

10:41 a.m. – Si Woo Kim/Cam Davis (Int) vs/ Scottie Scheffler/Sam Burns: Perhaps the most interesting match of the first day. Team competitions are often won by emotional players, neither of which is Kim nor Scheffler. That leaves Davis, who can be fiery, and Burns, who will need to step up to that role.

10:53 a.m. – Taylor Pendrith/Mito Pereira (Int) vs. Tony Finau/Max Homa (USA): Pereira is an interesting player in that he finished T-3 in the PGA, then after two more decent weeks he missed four straight cuts. Pendrith is one of eight International team members making their Cup debut. The American duo is rapidly becoming potentially my new favorite U.S. team. Finau is one of the nicest guys in golf and has talent through the roof. Homa is a fun-loving golfer that never seems to take himself too seriously. The Cal grad is coming off a win in the Fortinet Championships last weekend, defending the title he won in 2021.

This could and should be big win for the United States team which would be their 12th win in 15 Presidents Cup competitions. But these aren’t played on paper which always makes it fun. My prediction for the Cup is an 18-12 win for the U.S.

By Dennis Miller