Golf: PGA overhauls Presidents Cup format

Jason Day of Australia plays his tee shot on the par 4, 18th hole during the final round of the 2015 PGA Championship on The Straits Course at Whistling Straits on Aug 16, 2015.
Jason Day of Australia plays his tee shot on the par 4, 18th hole during the final round of the 2015 PGA Championship on The Straits Course at Whistling Straits on Aug 16, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - The PGA Tour announced an overhaul for the format of the Presidents Cup on Monday, bowing to calls to reduce the total number of points on offer despite opposition from the United States team.

A statement from the PGA said the changes, which would take effect at the next Presidents Cup in October, would see the total number of matches in the Ryder Cup style event reduced from 34 to 30.

The new structure for the event would see five four-ball and five foursomes played over the first two days, versus six and six as in previous years.

Saturday's schedule would be reduced to four four-balls and four foursomes, as opposed to five matches per session, with 12 singles matches on Sunday.

The changes come after months of discussions between US captain Jay Haas and International team counterpart Nick Price.

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said the two sides had been unable to reach a consensus about the revamped format.

"For quite some time, the International Team has been advocating for a reduction in total points, while the US Team felt strongly that The Presidents Cup format should remain as it has been," said Finchem.

"After numerous meetings and discussions, it was apparent that both captains felt passionate about their respective positions, as did their potential team members. But with no clear consensus between the two sides, it was up to me to make a decision that would be best for the event overall."

Finchem added the decision to implement changes would "strike a balance between maintaining the unique makeup of The Presidents Cup ... and the competitive environment for both teams."

This year's event is to take place at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon between October 6-11.