Adam Scott was in the middle of all the chaos in South Africa as darkness gathered.

Tiger Woods and Ernie Els, in a sudden-death playoff to decide the 2003 Presidents Cup, halved three straight holes and could barely see the last two putts fall. Both teams and captains were on the second green at Fancourt when a tie was proposed. That's when U.S. captain Jack Nicklaus reminded International captain Gary Player that the Americans would retain the cup as the defending champion. "Let's keep playing!" Scott demanded over the din.

He was 23, two months removed from his first PGA Tour win. It was his first Presidents Cup. The teams eventually agreed to share the cup, and Scott wouldn't have guessed it would be as close as he would get to being on a winning team at the Presidents Cup.

The 10th edition of the Presidents Cup starts Thursday in Dublin, Ohio, and the odds don't favor the International team.

It has seven rookies, and while all but Hideki Matsuyama have played a fair amount on the PGA Tour this year, Scott is the only team member to have won -- at the Masters for his first major and The Barclays during the FedEx Cup playoffs.

The American team, captained by Fred Couples, is regarded as one of the strongest ever for any cup. The matches are at Muirfield Village, were Tiger Woods has won five times and Matt Kuchar won in June. The Americans have never lost the Presidents Cup on home soil, which is not all that unusual considering they have only lost once since the Presidents Cup began in 1994.


Advertisement

"I understand how it looks on paper," Scott said Wednesday. "Yeah, I see how that looks. I also see seven guys here for the first time pumped up and ready to go."

The event gets started with Jason Day and Graham DeLaet taking on Americans Hunter Mahan and Brandt Snedeker in the first of six fourballs matches.

Scott is taking the youngest player on the International team -- 21-year-old Matsuyama -- as his partner against Bill Haas and Webb Simpson.

Americans Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley take on Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel; Woods and Kuchar face Marc Leishman and Angel Cabrera; and Steve Stricker and Jordan Spieith battle Els and Brendon de Jonge.

International captain Nick Price put two rookies together -- Branden Grace and Richard Sterne -- in the anchor match against Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner.

"It's really important for the Internationals to get a win," Scott said. "We need to make this thing really relevant."

  • Cabrera, Leishman and Matsuyama have committed to the Frys.com Open on Oct. 10-13 at CordeValle in San Martin. It's the first FedExCup points event of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season, and for the first time the winner receives an invite to the Masters in April. An open qualifying for four spots will be Monday at Bayonet Golf Course in Seaside.

    Wire services contributed to this report.