Immelman Explains Oosthuizen's Bizarre Presidents Cup Omission

The International team captain has outlined the reasoning behind the South African's ineligibility for the tournament

Louis Oosthuizen at the 2022 LIV Golf Chicago event
(Image credit: Getty Images)

While it’s no shock that LIV Golf players have been omitted from the Presidents Cup, the absence of Louis Oosthuizen is more of a surprise given he resigned his PGA Tour membership to join the Saudi-backed venture.

Ahead of the PGA Tour-sanctioned event at Quail Hollow, International team captain Trevor Immelman explained that he’s happy with his selection despite the LIV Golf absentees, and talked specifically about why the South African was one of them. He said: “My understanding is that he made particular announcements and allowed himself to be used in different marketing campaigns and announcements once he was not given the release from the PGA Tour, and he did all of those things before he resigned his membership. So there were still particular infractions there.”

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Despite Immelman’s explanation, there seemed to be good reason for the expectations of Oosthuizen’s inclusion, not least the pair’s friendship and the LIV Golf player’s excellent Presidents Cup record. Not only that, but Oosthuizen clearly would have liked the chance to take make his fifth appearance in the tournament. Last week, he admitted to Sports Illustrated that his omission from the tournament was “a bit of a punch in the gut.”

Look back further, though, and the PGA Tour was clear in its stance. In June, it sent a strongly worded letter to its members stating LIV Golf players are "suspended or otherwise no longer eligible to participate in PGA Tour tournament play, including the Presidents Cup.”

Nevertheless, Oosthuizen also admitted to Sports Illustrated that he anticipating still being eligible. He said: “I thought by resigning my membership before I did anything wrong really... there's no rule that says I need to be a PGA Tour member to play the Presidents Cup, especially as an International team player.”

As far as Immelman is concerned, though, no one was left in any doubt as to their status. He said: “Every single player that I spoke to from early on in this process knew exactly what the situation and the consequences were going to be. They knew that if they made certain decisions, it was going to be highly unlikely they were going to be able to represent the International team. That went into their decision-making process. All the cards were out on the table, and everybody knew where they stood.”

In the event, Immelman will need to help inspire an International team that starts as heavy underdogs to a USA team that boasts five of the world’s current top 10 as they go in search of their first outright win in the Presidents Cup since 1998.

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.