Canada’s Adam Hadwin will have his hands full when he makes his debut for the International Team at the Presidents Cup today. One of his opponents is a kid by the name of Jordan Spieth.
The 29-year-old Hadwin is paired with world No. 3 Hideki Matsuyama for the four-ball competition, but they’re up against quite the Team USA duo, in Spieth and Patrick Reed, who starred for the Americans at the Ryder Cup.
They’ll open the day’s four-ball play at 11:35 a.m. ET.
Spieth, a three-time major champion, and Reed, a seven-time winner on Tour, easily downed Emiliano Grillo and Si Woo Kim to open the Presidents Cup on Thursday.
The United States leads 3.5 to 1.5 after the first round of play, so Hadwin and his internationals are looking to make up some ground.
On paper, here’s how the Hadwin and Matsuyama stack up against Reed and Spieth:
Average driving distance this season
Strokes gained putting this season
Greens in regulation this season
Major championships won
Edge: Americans (Spieth)
Career earnings on Tour
Spieth: $35 million
Reed: $18.6 million
Matsuyama: $19.8 million
Hadwin: $5.9 million
Career wins on Tour
Matsuyama: 5 (plus 8 internationally)
Top 10 finishes this season on Tour
So, the overall edge is heavily in favour of the Americans.
But that’s just on paper.
Remember, big upsets have happened at the Presidents Cup before. Who could forget when Mike Weir downed Tiger Woods at this tournament — at home, in Montreal, no less — back in 2007, in one of the greatest Sunday singles matches of all time.
Also, there are some things you can’t quantify, like Hadwin’s competitiveness. As he told Sportsnet, earlier this year: “I hate to lose more than I like to win.”
That mentality could come in handy today.