22 Aug 2022 | Professional golf |
Smith, Scott secure Presidents Cup spots
by Australian Golf Media
By Tony Webeck
Open champion Cameron Smith and nine-time representative Adam Scott are among the eight automatic qualifiers for the International team that will contest the Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte from September 22-25.
The top eight automatic qualifiers for the International team and the top six for Team USA were announced following the completion of the BMW Championship in Delaware.
International Team Captain Trevor Immelman and US Team Captain Davis Love III will announce captain’s selections on Tuesday, September 6, and Wednesday, September 7, respectively, to round out their 12-man teams.
As The Open champion and THE PLAYERS champion, Smith topped the points list for the International Team, Scott scraping in on the basis of his tie for fifth at the BMW Championship, a sand save on the 72nd hole ensuring he would take his place in the field at the Tour Championship in Atlanta.
It also gives Scott the opportunity to atone for nine previous Presidents Cup disappointments, the International team’s sole victory coming at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in 1998.
The International team led going into the singles matches on the final day at Royal Melbourne in 2019.
Although Smith gave a glimpse into his future with a 2&1 victory over Justin Thomas in his debut appearance, the Internationals ultimately went down by two points to the Tiger Woods-inspired American team.
Despite adding to his losing tally in the event, Scott believes it set a new foundation for the International team to challenge the Americans again in 2022.
“I was very proud of being Australian and what our team did,” said Scott, who has a record of 16-22-6 in Presidents Cup action.
“It really was the start of a new look International team with a new logo and a new vibe and we came so close.
“It was really a great week. I mean for me being Australian and playing at Royal Melbourne was a very special week. Thinking back over all the weeks in my career, that one is definitely a highlight, even though we didn’t get over the line in the end. But there was a great feeling out there for me.
“I think we’ve got some good momentum heading into this next Presidents Cup.”
A team-mate of Immelman’s in 2005 and 2007, Scott says that the South African is the perfect person to build on the momentum generated by countryman Ernie Els in his role as International team captain.
“I’ve played in a lot of Presidents Cups, but with Trevor being the captain, this is a team that I desperately wanted to make,” Scott added.
“We’ve had a great friendship over the years, and I would love to play under his captaincy.
“It’s been very hard for us to put it all together and I have to give Ernie a lot of credit. Our last captain really kind of changed things up, brought in a new structure for us to work around. And I think Trevor really has embraced that, and that’s going to continue to evolve for us.
“We’ve got a hard task every time we go out to beat an American team that’s just stacked full of great players. But I really believe we’re on the right path now, and I’m optimistic.”
The six other automatic qualifiers for the International team are Hideki Matsuyama, Sungjae Im, Joaquin Niemann, Joohyung Kim, Corey Conners and Mito Pereira.
The six automatic qualifiers for the American team are Scottie Scheffler, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas, Sam Burns and Tony Finau.
Marc Leishman (16th), Lucas Herbert (19th) and Cam Davis (20th) must now rely on a captain’s pick from Immelman to play while Kiwi Ryan Fox (13th) is also in the frame to make his Presidents Cup debut.
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