Cameron Smith won’t be able to help a weakened International team desperate to break one of the longest droughts in world golf at the President’s Cup this weekend.
The team tournament pitting Team USA against the best of the rest of the world outside Europe will be held in North Carolina this weekend for the first time since 2019.
The Americans have won the tournament 11 times and tied once, with their only loss coming way back in Melbourne in 1998.
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The Internationals came agonisingly close to breaking the drought in 2019, but it will be even harder for them to match it with the USA this time around.
Australian stars Smith and Marc Leishman, as well as Joaquin Niemann and Abraham Ancer have defected to LIV Golf, making them ineligible for the President’s Cup.
It leaves the Internationals significantly shorthanded against an American line-up boasting 12 of the world’s top 25 golfers.
And that’s without the injured Will Zalatoris and LIV defectors Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau.
The Internationals were seen as a serious threat to win on US soil for the first time before losing several top players to the Saudi-backed golf series.
But Internationals captain Trevor Immelman says losing several top players to LIV has deepened the determination of the players who will compete in one of golf’s two most prestigious team tournaments.
“The 12 that are here, they are the ones that remained loyal, stayed with our team, wanted to play in the Presidents Cup and those are the guys I want to fight with,” Immelman said.
“We’re really happy with the 12 we’ve got. There’s no talk in our team room of anybody missing.”
“We can’t run from it,” Immelman said of the ripple effect LIV has had on the golf world.
“It has been a real tough time. It was sad and disappointing to have to go through that. It has been tough to see.
“All those players knew what the repercussions would be if they went over to the other tour. Everybody knew where they stood.” Immelman said he got the bad news directly from players and was kept in the loop as they decided on LIV.
“Am I disappointed they won’t all be here? Absolutely.
“Now we get to go up against a strong American team. we’re looking forward.”
The Americans will go in as huge favourites to win the President’s Cup at Quail Hollow in Charlotte.
The Internationals’ teams features a record eight rookies, including Australian Cam Davis, who is effectively coming off the bench to replace Smith and Leishman.
Former Masters champion and longtime Internationals team member Adam Scott is also playing and is hopeful the underdogs can spring an upset.
“That fun vibe will continue with all the fresh blood in the team this time around,” Scott said, per Golf Digest.
“Obviously, the first thing we need to execute is have all 12 of us come out and let go of our inhibitions and light the course up.
“But let’s look at Melbourne (in 2019); we were heavy underdogs and we led going into the singles. It shows that tactics and pairings are where we can have an advantage. It’s the singles where we are up against it.
“We’ll have to almost use Jedi mind tricks on our team and throughout the week so that by Sunday every individual is a hero in their own mind. We’re going to have to take ourselves to a place where we ignore the world ranking and play ruthless match play.”
SCHEDULE & FORMAT
Thursday September 22: Five foursomes matches (coverage begins Friday 2.30am AEST)
Friday September 23: Five fourballs matches (coverage begins Saturday 1.30am AEST)
Saturday September 24: Four foursomes matches, four fourballs matches (Coverage begins Saturday 9pm AEST)
Sunday September 25: Twelve singles matches (coverage begins 2am Monday AEST)
All matches are worth one point apiece, for a total of 30 points. There are no playoffs, with each side receiving a half-point for matches tied after 18 holes. To win the Presidents Cup a team needs to win 15.5 points.
Match-ups will be announced on Wednesday.
HOW TO WATCH
You can watch the President’s Cup all week long on Fox Sports’ dedicated Channel 505.
The action is also available to stream live and exclusive on Kayo Sports.
Foxtel has announced it has renewed its partnership with the PGA Tour to broadcast more golf than ever before and continue to be the home of the four majors.
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said: “We are delighted to be renewing our broadcast agreement with the Foxtel Group, they have been a longstanding partner of the PGA TOUR and are well positioned to continue the growth of golf in Australia.
“Australia has an incredible legacy in golf and we are excited that Melbourne will be hosting the 2028 Presidents Cup. The momentum behind the Foxtel Group is extremely impressive. “We look forward to working with them for many years to come and growing our fanbase even further.’’
USA $1.12, Internationals $8, Tie $19
USA: Scottie Scheffler, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Sam Burns, Justin Thomas, Tony Finau, Max Homa, Billy Horschel, Kevin Kisner, Colling Morikawa, Jordan Spieth, Cameron Young
INTERNATIONALS: Hideki Matsuyama, Im Sung-Jae, Kim Joo-Hyung, Corey Conners, Adam Scott, Mito Pereira, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Cam Davis, Kim Si-Woo, Lee Kyoung-Hoon, Sebastian Munoz, Taylor Pendrith