INTERNATIONALS captain Nick Price admits his team with players from eight countries is a bit of a “hodgepodge” but was sounding quietly confident ahead of their big stoush against the Americans in New York this week.
The Internationals only have one victory (Royal Melbourne 1998) and a tie in 11 attempts while the confident Americans are six from six on home soil.
“It’s difficult for us, a team of eight nations this year, to get the camaraderie and get the team spirit,” Price said ahead of the event at the Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey.
But the Internationals d0 have eight players returning from their one point defeat in South Korea in 2015 and price is backing up for his third time as captain.
“What happened in South Korea really was a shot in the arm for guys like Adam Scott, Louis (Oosthuizen) and Jason (Day), who have never been on a winning team,” Price said.
“The team room on that Sunday night, it was a very humbling experience for me because the guys emotionally spilled their guts out to everyone how important it was to them and how much they enjoyed it.
“Even though we are a hodgepodge of a team from all around the world, we are all competitors and we like to compete and don’t like to get beaten. That’s the bottom line.
“This team is made up of a lot of golf young guys who probably have another four or five Presidents Cups in them. I think they have realised how important this event is now, and they want to take it to the next level.”
The 12 man International team (Rest of the world excluding Europe includes three Aussies – Adam Scott who was able to get some extra practice in at the venue as he wasn’t involved in the final FedEx Cup playoff events; Jason Day who has vowed to improve on his less that spectacular performance last time; and Marc Leishman, Australia’s best performer on tour this year.
The rest of the team includes three South Africans (Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Branden Grace) and one player each from Japan (Hideki Matsuyama), South Korea (Kim Si-woo), India (Anirban Lahiri), Canada (Adam Hadwin), Venezuela (Jhonattan Vegas) and Argentina (Emiliano Grillo).
All except the final three played in Korea.
Americans very confident with a crack team
The American team, led by popular captain Steve Stricker, has every reason to be confident. They have an average world ranking of 15.5, compared to 31.5 for the Internationals, with world top two Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth leading them off and their lowest rated player, coming in at No.30, is their most experienced in Phil Mickelson.
The rest of the team is Justin Thomas (4), Rickie Fowler (7), Brooks Koepka (11), Matt Kuchar (13), Patrick Reed (20), Charley Hoffman (23),
Daniel Berger (24), Kevin Chappell (25) and Kevin Kisner (26).
So typing those names again, they’ve probably got good reason to be struttingly confident and it’s going to require a big effort from the Internationals to stay in the match …. Here’s hoping they can.
Presidents Cup Format
Thursday (US): Five foursomes (alternate shot) matches
Friday: Five fourball (better ball) matches
Saturday: Four foursomes and four fourball matches
Sunday: Twelve singles matches