Presidents Cup Captains Happy With Teams Despite LIV Golf Absentees

Trevor Immelman and Davis Love III say they’re satisfied with their teams ahead of this week’s tournament

Trevor Immelman and Davis Love III speak at a press conference before the 2022 Presidents Cup
(Image credit: Getty Images)

This week, the Presidents Cup takes place at Quail Hollow featuring an International team and the USA. However, the tournament lacks some of the bigger names who would have played had it gone ahead last year as originally planned.

That’s because some players who would have been eligible in 2021 are now plying their trade with LIV Golf, and, given hostilities between the Saudi-backed organisation and the PGA Tour that sanctions the tournament, it ensures those players are missing.

However, if that has come as a blow to International captain Trevor Immelman and his US counterpart Davis Love III, they certainly weren’t showing it ahead of the tournament. In Immelman’s case, he insists the affected players have been honest with him throughout. He said: “All those players have been open and honest with me throughout their process, telling me exactly where they're at so I was up to speed on it. Everybody has a right to make their own decisions, and I respect those guys making those decisions.”

Despite that amicability described by the South African, Immelman admitted that there is some disappointment he can’t call on the likes of World No.3 Cameron Smith this week, but he’s only focused on the players he does have. He said: “Am I disappointed that they're not able to be here? Absolutely. But we have the 12 guys here that we love and wanted to be here, and now we get to go up against a strong American team. So we're looking forward.”

Love III is similarly comfortable with his selection, despite not being able to call on the services of former World No.1 Dustin Johnson, who was pivotal to the US victory in the most recent Ryder Cup. He said: “On current form back a couple months ago, Dustin would have been a pick from wherever he was in points pretty far down, but he would have been a veteran pick. Obviously, he was the hero of the team at Whistling Straits. He was a great partner for [Collin] Morikawa. So, yes, we miss him. But I think on points, we pretty much got the guys we wanted to get.”

Despite a weakened team, the US are strong favourites to win the tournament, and Love III is confident that he has the players to live up to the billing – including Max Homa, fresh off the back of his Fortinet Championship win. He said: “We’re really happy with the 12 we've got because we know that they're committed and excited. Look at Max Homa. He was talking about it since January: ‘I want to make this team, I want to make this team.’ Billy Horschel's been trying to make - he's been on the bubble for three or four teams. He's really excited. So, like Trevor, we have a bunch of guys who are excited and ready to play, and there's no talk in our team room of anybody missing.”

Love III has five of the current world’s top 10 in his team – Scottie Scheffler, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa. In contrast, Hideki Matsuyama is Immelman’s highest-ranked player, at World No.16.

Mike Hall
News Writer

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.