Since it was first played in 1994, America has won the contest seven out of nine times, with the 2003 match in South Africa ending in a tie. The International side’s only win came in 1998.
Recent matches have been far from close, too, at least in terms of scoreline. An 18½-15½ win for the US in 2005 is the narrowest the gulf has been between the two sides, with another big win for Fred Couples’ Americans predicted this week at Muirfield Village in Ohio.
This had led many to question whether or not there is still a place for the contest in a professional schedule which is already jam-packed.
Masters champion Scott is acutely aware of those murmurings and that, he says, makes this week’s match a ‘must win’ for the Internationals.
“I feel it's really important to get a win,” said the Australian. “We need to make this thing really relevant, make it a real competition, because it's got a bit lopsided the last few outings.
“I think we've got a team that can win this week, but the only way we can do it is by playing good and wanting it more than the Americans. The last few days have been about building our spirit and our feeling to that point where we want to get out there tomorrow and want it badly.”
“We need to make this thing really relevant, make it a real competition, because it's got a bit lopsided the last few outings."
Some people have suggested that a lack of a collective identity has hampered the International side’s ambitions against an American team fuelled by patriotism. Scott, though, doesn’t think that’s an issue.
“I think everyone's determined,” he said. “I think the guys who have not been here before want to start on the right foot, and the guys who have played in several of them, like Ernie, want to turn this around and get a win. So I think everyone's coming in very determined to put ourselves in front and try and win as many sessions as we can.”
Scott partners Hideki Matsuyama of Japan against Bill Haas and Webb Simpson in the opening fourball session today and he was quick to dismiss any suggestion of a language barrier between him and his Japanese teammate.
“’Good shot’ is the international language,” said Scott. “Everyone understands that. Hideki’s playing great. He's confident. I can see that. I'm sure he's going to be a little bit nervous but you know, when he hits his first one down the middle tomorrow, he'll be fine after that.
“We are playing a better‑ball; it's about going out there and playing as well as you can, and I don't think there's anything going to stop us with language doing that.”