Youth highlights International team's Presidents Cup picks
A rival league left International captain Trevor Immelman with a contracted talent pool, but the former Masters champ has rounded out his team for the 2022 Presidents Cup.
Immelman announced Tuesday morning that K.H. Lee, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Sebastian Munoz, Taylor Pendrith, Cam Davis and Si Woo Kim are the final six players for the 12-man club, set to take on the Americans at Quail Hollow later this month. Five of those players will be making their Presidents Cup debut, with Kim previously appearing at the 2017 match.
The International squad originally had four captain’s picks against eight automatic qualifiers. However, two of those qualifiers, Cam Smith and Joaquin Niemann, subsequently signed to play for LIV Golf. After competing in last week's LIV event, they were both suspended from the PGA Tour and became ineligible for the Presidents Cup. Potential International players like Abe Ancer, Louis Oosthuizen, Marc Leishman and Carlos Ortiz are also banned due to their associations with the Saudi-backed circuit.
"You know, the underdog role is there," Immelman said. "Everybody sees it. We'll carry that with pride. We'll be representing underdogs all over the world in every facet of life, whether it be business or sport or kids at school. We'll be out there representing all the underdogs trying to make them proud."
To fill the void Immelman went with youth, as Lee and Pendrith at 31 are the oldest of the captain’s picks. Only Lee recorded a win on tour this season, yet Munoz had three top-five finishes, and Bezuidenhout and Pendrith boast runner-ups to their names.
Notable names left off include Erik Van Rooyen (who has been dealing with injuries in 2022), Adam Hadwin and Ryan Fox.
The six will join Hideki Matsuyama, Sungjae Im, Joohyung “Tom” Kim, Corey Conners, Adam Scott and Mito Pereira in Charlotte. Overall seven countries are represented in the International team. They will be looking for the first International win on foreign soil in the event’s history.
"We understand exactly the mountain that we have in front of us—possibly the best American team ever assembled if you look at them on paper with their accomplishments and what their World Rankings are,” Immelman said. “But hey, when you’re a little kid growing up outside of the U.S. and you dream of playing on the PGA Tour, you dream of playing in major championships at the highest level. This is everything you’ve ever dreamed of is having an opportunity to play against the best on their home soil, and that’s what we’re going to have here in a couple weeks."
United States captain Davis Love III will announce his six captain’s picks on Wednesday. The six who have already qualified for the team are Scottie Scheffler, Patrick Cantlay, Sam Burns, Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas and Tony Finau.
The 2022 Presidents Cup begins on Sept. 22. The United States has won the last eight matches.