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Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson factor in team matches at Presidents Cup

The 10th Presidents Cup begins Thursday at Muirfield Village, where a team of 12 American will take on 12 International players. Although the outcome seems foretold, the players who will emerge from this week’s Presidents Cup fray as the men of the match seem less certain.

Conventional wisdom would suggest it would be a Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson, undisputed team front men, who would collect this week’s MVP hardware, but historically those type of clutch performances come from unexpected places. For the United States, Steve Stricker is the likely candidate. The part-timer earned his spot this week at Muirfield Village playing on a limited schedule, has been as consistent as anyone over the last few months and appears to have the perfect partner in newcomer Jordan Spieth.

Stricker is also keen to score some personal redemption following a dismal performance at last year’s Ryder Cup when he failed to earn a point. As for the International side, Graham DeLaet has the look of a surprise hero. Although he’s playing his first Presidents Cup, the Canadian had a torrid playoff run to earn his first trip to East Lake last month and ranks as the Tour’s best ball-striker which will be key on a course most consider the ultimate ball-striker’s golf course.

Watch the Presidents Cup live stream alongside all your social media on NBC Sports' Google+, NBC Sports on Facebook and @NBCSports on Twitter and visit The Golf Channel for extensive Presidents Cup coverage.

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