By Paul Myers
If you were to take a look at the history of the Presidents Cup, you might get the impression that the International team was lacking for talent – but that simply isn’t the case. Despite having only one win in the history of the event, the International team regularly fields a squad of accomplished worldwide players with great resumes. A combination of bad luck and running into a tough U.S. team has led to just one win, but the International side is certainly a force to be reckoned with when the 2015 version of this match play competition gets underway.
So who will be teeing it up for Captain Nick Price when the Presidents Cup gets underway in South Korea? Let’s take a closer look.
There are four players who appear to be complete locks to make the team when the deadline arrives in early September. Those four are Jason Day, Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, and Hideki Matsuyama. Scott and Oosthuizen are both past major champions, and Day and Matsuyama have each won events at the highest level of the game. Without even looking at the rest of the lineup, the presence of those four players on the team will give the United States plenty to think about.
The Other Six Automatic Spots
There are ten automatic qualifier spots available for the Presidents Cup team, based on the points list on September 7th. The first four spots are almost certainly going to be taken by those listed above, leaving six more spots available. At the moment, the six names filling those spots are Branden Grace, Marc Leishman, Thongchai Jaidee, Charl Schwartzel, Anirban Lahiri, and John Senden. Hanging around just outside of the top ten are names like Steven Bowditch, Danny Lee, Matt Jones, Tim Clark, Graham DeLaet, and Geoff Ogilvy. With several weeks of competition yet to be played, the final few spots on the International Presidents Cup team are sure to come down to the wire.
The Captain’s Picks
Perhaps Nick Price’s most important job as captain is to select the final two players who will round out the team. Just like Jay Haas on the U.S. side, Price will have to choose between players who are in form at the moment, and those who have a track record of success over their careers. One player who will certainly receive strong consideration for a pick is Danny Lee. Currently just outside of the top ten, Lee is having a great season on the PGA Tour. Unless Lee plays his way into the top ten, he is a likely candidate to be chosen by Nick Price. Another name to keep an eye on is Ernie Els. The veteran from South Africa isn’t near the top ten in points at the moment, but he has played some good golf this season and has tons of experience to offer.
Is the International side going to be able to raise their level of play in order to secure the cup for just the second time in history? Only time will tell. However, looking at the names that are in contention to make up the team when the matches get underway in South Korea, there is no doubt they will have the talent to get the job done.