07 Sep 2022 | Professional golf |
Davis primed for Presidents Cup cauldron
by Australian Golf Media
By Tony Webeck
Cam Davis has vowed to tap into the killer instinct he displayed as an amateur after being called up as a captain’s pick to make his Presidents Cup debut at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte from September 22-25.
Davis was the only Australian among the six additions to the International team made by captain Trevor Immelman late on Tuesday night, joining nine-time representative Adam Scott in flying the Aussie flag.
Other captain’s picks included Christiaan Bezuidenhout (South Africa), Si Woo Kim (South Korea), KH Lee (South Korea), Sebastian Munoz (Colombia) and Taylor Pendrith (Canada), rounding out an International team that also boasts Scott, Hideki Matsuyama (Japan), Sungjae Im (South Korea), Corey Conners (Canada), Joohyung Kim (South Korea) and Mito Pereira (Chile).
As the 2015 Australian Amateur champion and with a 6-1 record in the victorious New South Wales team at the 2016 Interstate Teams Matches, Davis was a formidable matchplay opponent in his amateur days.
It’s a format he has not played since turning professional in late 2016 but one which he feels brings out his best.
In earning his breakthrough PGA TOUR win at last year’s Rocket Mortgage Classic, Davis went five holes in what started as a three-man playoff, an experience he expects to draw heavily from in front of a Charlotte crowd heaving with American patriotism.
“It was the first real true matchplay sort of environment that I had been in in a long time, and I absolutely loved it,” Davis said of his Detroit triumph.
“I loved that there’s one hole at a time because you can be more aggressive. I just love that combination of the freedom to go for it more, and it’s a little more intense being one-on-one as well.
“It’s an environment that just automatically kicks me into a slightly different gear to what I normally play.
“I feel like that’s still there and I can’t wait to see what that’s like amongst how many people are going to be out there watching.
“I can’t wait to see how I stack up against it.”
In his commentary duties with CBS and Golf Channel, Immelman has been monitoring Davis’s progress closely.
While the 27-year-old admits himself that his selection was more of a hope than an expectation, Immelman is adamant that the New South Welshman brings both the game and temperament to thrive in the pressure-cooker of a Presidents Cup.
“He’s somebody that I’ve been impressed with for a long time,” Immelman said of the 2017 Australian Open champion.
“When I’m out on the TOUR broadcasting, I always find my way down to where he’s hitting balls on the range. Hits it a mile. I think that suits this golf course very well.
“He’s an explosive player, makes a ton of birdies and eagles if you look at the data of his seasons on the PGA TOUR.
“His last seven to 10 events, he really started showing some form when it came down to crunch time regards to qualifying for our team.
“He had a little extra pressure there, and I thought he performed really well.
“He’s ready for this moment.”
A self-confessed insular figure content in his own company, Davis was invited to attend a two-day gathering of the International team at Quail Hollow following the TOUR Championship.
It wasn’t until the dinner on the final night that it was announced that Davis would be chosen to make his Presidents Cup debut, the reaction of senior figures in the room enough to instill the belief that he belongs within elite company.
“Even before I was announced (as playing) everyone there just made me feel so comfortable,” Davis said.
“A lot of the guys that I’ve looked up to were all of a sudden treating you as an equal, talking about the golf course and talking through shots. Being a part of the team and knowing you’re part of the team, and then mixing with everyone once that’s announced, it just brings everybody together.
“I just feel so much more comfortable amongst these guys.
“I feel like they all let me know that they think that I deserve a spot in this team and I feel I have the game to take into this competition.
“All the cool memories of being part of a team and working together and bringing the best out of yourselves through that sort of environment is something I can’t wait for because I absolutely love it.”
As for a possible all-Aussie pairing with Adam Scott in two weeks’ time, Davis is prepared to play with whoever Captain Immelman decides.
“I do know that having seen everyone play and having seen the golf course, there’s a million different combinations that could work really well for the entire team each day,” Davis added.
“I’m honestly just looking forward to whoever I’m paired with. If it’s with Adam, that’s great. Hideki, Christiaan, anyone on the team, I feel like I can complement their game and bring out the best of both of us.”
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