OKBet President Cup 2022
The aftermath of the OKBet President Cup 2022 will not create the tear-jerking essays or over-the-top hyperbole about the future that the Ryder Cup produced last year, but a tournament that culminated in the United States’ ninth straight triumph was nevertheless a great success. If one just looked at the Presidents Cup’s Wikipedia page, it would be simple to dismiss the event as a flop; yet, this would entirely neglect the unique arrangement of team competitions and why they are so exciting.
After covering Ryder Cups, Solheim Cups, and Presidents Cups for the last ten years, it became clear that even most (not all, but most) blowouts in these team events seem competitive until the end. They also seem to always include weird events that will surely occur before their finish.
According to Data Golf, the International team’s odds of winning the OKBet President Cup 2022 increased from 3% to 3.6% on Saturday afternoon of this year’s Presidents Cup, immediately after Tom Kim slammed in the putt of the week to top off the best day of his career. And yet, because of what occurred in the 2012 Ryder Cup, because it seemed like Kim couldn’t lose, and because we like to believe in sports miracles, it felt a lot closer than that.
Let’s fast forward to Sunday. Despite solo points from Jordan Spieth and Patrick Cantlay in routes, Justin Thomas was on the ropes against Si Woo Kim, and there was a swath of black and gold on the board as the day progressed. It seemed like the Internationals were genuinely on the verge of earning 8.5 points in singles, their first tournament of the century.
According to Data Golf, the Americans’ chances of victory never fell below 89% and remained generally in the 90s. Even the International team earning 8.5 points in 12 matches against 12 players ranked in the top 25 in the world proved to be a challenging task.
This is where you yell about how events aren’t playing out on paper. While this is correct, probability models also serve as a reality check for our emotions. Unlike humans, they project based on talent and calculation rather than momentum, emotion, or how many times Si Woo has fist pumped J.T.’s soul. While the intangibles of sports seem to influence a plethora of games and events we’ve seen over the years, we undervalue the tangibles – what counts most – mostly because we want to believe.
This is where the genius of team golf scheduling comes into play. You may persuade yourself that a specific match will flip or that certain events will occur in different ways. If you disregarded reality – as I nearly always do at events like this – then the experience was extremely thrilling. This is because team events are designed to become more volatile in terms of point distribution. Almost half of the points available at a team tournament are in play within a five-hour period on Sunday afternoon, and the rest of the week appears to build up to that moment in OKBet President Cup 2022.
As long as you don’t get a genuine rout, which does happen sometimes, hope nearly always lasts longer than it should. You can persuade yourself into a five-point victory (called a blowout in team tournaments like this one). That may be both lovely and heartbreaking.
“You know, we were in a terrible place on Friday this week,” said International captain Trevor Immelman. “It took a lot of bravery for us to fight back.” I don’t know about you, but I believed there was still a possibility this afternoon at some time. And, considering we were 8-2 down on Friday evening, this squad is no joke, and I’m sick and tired of seeing it described as such.
“We love this event, and we love our team, and we can’t wait to do it again and try again.”
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