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Leishman, Scott, Oosthuizen headline team that welcomes new faces
The top eight qualifiers for the 2019 Presidents Cup International Team are final and captain Ernie Els will lead a group that includes four players with a combined 17 previous appearances and four others who will be playing for the first time. The Presidents Cup will return to Melbourne, Australia and The Royal Melbourne Golf Club for the third time, December 9-15, 2019.
· The top four players in the standings (Marc Leishman, Louis Oosthuizen, Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama) have a combined 17 appearances in the Presidents Cup and are flanked by four newcomers to the event in Abraham Ancer, Haotong Li, Cameron Smith and C.T. Pan.
· Australia has the most players qualified with Leishman, Scott and Smith.
· Li, Ancer and Pan are the first players from mainland China, Mexico and Chinese Taipei, respectively, to qualify for the International Team.
· Scott has the most experience of any qualified player for both the International and U.S. Teams having played in the Presidents Cup on eight previous occasions. Scott is the only player on the International Team who played in the event in 2011 when it was held at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
Captain Els said: “This is as good as I could have asked for. I’ve got guys who have played in the Presidents Cup many times previously and I’ve got guys who are rookies. The guys who are pillars of our team have really stepped up to take their places in this team. I’m really impressed with how they’ve conducted themselves and played into the team.
“For the top eight, I think the one-year qualifying cycle has worked well. The guys knew they had to play well this season and they showed it. For instance, Adam Scott played himself right into this team. He was no where near when qualifying started and he’s played great since we started. Same with Louis Oosthuizen who stepped it up. They obviously had a plan of trying to make this team.”
NO. 1 MARC LEISHMAN
PGA TOUR Wins: 4
Presidents Cup: 3 (2013, 2015, 2017) 3-7-3 record
2018/19 Highlights: Won the 2018 CIMB Classic in Malaysia. Finished T2 in ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf with Cameron Smith and posted five other top-10s including a third-place finish at WGC-FedExSt Jude Invitational.
Notable: Was Rookie of the Year on PGA TOUR in 2009. First Australian to win the award.
Marc Leishman Quote: “It’s great to be on the team again. It’ll be my fourth in a row which means I’m doing something right. Definitely excited for it and hopefully we can play some really good golf there and give the Americans a run for their money. I hope the fans will support us like how the American fans support their team when it’s played in the U.S. It’s pretty important that it happens. It’s important that we play well from the get-go to give them something to cheer about. We need to get off to a good start and get our fans to support the team.”
Ernie Els Quote: “Marc has been the most consistent player on our team. Being Australian, it’s going to be a big week for him. I think he can take a leading role. He’s played quite a few of these now and he can give a lot of knowledge to my players. He’s definitely going to be one of my leader group guys.”
NO. 2 HIDEKI MATSUYAMA
PGA TOUR Wins: 5
Presidents Cup: 3 (2013, 2015, 2017) | 4-6-3 career record
2018/19 Highlights: Six top-10s including T3’s at the BMW Championship and the Farmers Insurance Open.
Notable: Eight-time winner on Japan Golf Tour. First Asian to win a World Golf Championships event at 2016 WGC-HSBC Champions in China. Won the 2017 WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational.
Matsuyama quote: “I’ve had the opportunity to play with Ernie previously, so I would really love to contribute to the team. I’m the only Japanese player on the International team and I will try my best to represent the country of Japan. The U.S. Team is very strong and I think teamwork will be extremely important. For us to do well, I will aim to do my best and contribute to the team.
Ernie Els Quote: “Hideki is a great and talented player. This will be his fourth Presidents Cup and he’s going to be very familiar with what it’s all about. He’s not been on a winning team, we came close in Muirfield and Korea so I can see him being very keen to win. He’s had a few close run-ins with the U.S. Team, so he’ll be ready to fight. His character is that he’s a winner. He’s won some of the big events that we have out here. He takes it very seriously."
NO. 3 LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN
PGA TOUR Wins: 1
European Tour Wins: 9
Presidents Cup: 3 (2013, 2015, 2017) | 7-5-3 career record
2018/19 Highlights: Claimed victory at the South African Open in late 2018 to end a 33-month winless run. Produced five top-10s on the PGA TOUR including a T2 at the Valspar Championship.
Notable: Established a formidable partnership with Branden Grace in 2015 and won all four of their matches together. Won the 2010 The Open Championship. He is also one of seven players to finish runner-up in all four majors.
Louis Oosthuizen Quote: “I’m excited. Ernie has really put a lot of work into it and doing things a little different. Knowing Ernie, living close to him and being a good friend, it makes it more special to be on this team. Everyone has been excited over the last few months due to what Ernie is already doing for us. It’s great to see Abraham Ancer get into the team, he’s been playing well for a long time, It’s good to see youngsters and new faces in the top-8.”
Ernie Els Quote: "Louis is just so solid as a player. He’s a team guy and I can’t ask for a better player to be on this team. He’s got a great sense of humor and he can keep the guys loose. Everything you can think of in a team environment, that’s Louis. He loves the competition. He loves getting up for it and he’s great in a team format. “
NO. 4 ADAM SCOTT
PGA TOUR Wins: 13
Presidents Cup: 8 (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017) | 14-20-5 career record
2018/19 Highlights: Eight top-10s including runner-up finishes at the Farmers Insurance Open and Memorial Tournament.
Notable: Has won the PLAYERS Championship, TOUR Championship, Masters Tournament and two WGCs. A former world No. 1 who has the most experience of any of the qualified players for either team.
Adam Scott Quote: “Of course, the bigger goal will be (winning) the Presidents Cup. Ernie has made his intentions very clear - certainly to me - how much he wants to improve our chances as a team and the work he's going to put in. For me, considering Ernie is really a great friend and mentor of mine, I really want to be part of his team.”
Ernie Els Quote: "I remember playing with Adam in his very first one in 2003 and he’s been on every team since then. He’s really stepped up to the plate to make this team. He was not in the team when qualifying started but he’s played himself into the team. He’s very vocal and very much up for it. With all the new stuff that I’ve brought into the team, he’s really bought into it and it gives me confidence to keep steering the team ahead. He’s the pillar of this team.”
NO. 5 ABRAHAM ANCER
PGA TOUR Wins: 0
Presidents Cup: 0 – making his first appearance
2018/19 Highlights: Four top-10s including a career best 2nd place at THE NORTHERN TRUST.
Notable: Won the Australian Open in 2018 and finished T2 at 2018 ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf with Roberto Diaz.
Abraham Ancer Quote: “That was one of my main, main goals for this year. That is something going to be an experience that I will never, never forget. I think the first Mexican that's going to play in the Presidents Cup; that's huge. I mean, I get a little bit of goosebumps right now just talking about it. Just for Mexican golf, I think it's big. Obviously for me, being selfish, it's awesome and it's going to be a lot of fun, but in the bigger picture for Mexican golf, it's awesome.”
Ernie Els Quote: “Winning the Aussie Open, he understands the Australian culture of golf. I know how much he wants it. A real steely player. I played with him at The Open a few weeks ago, he drove it well and he’s a really good, solid player all round and someone I’d love to have on the team.”
NO. 6 HAOTONG LI
2018/19 Highlights: Three top-20s in the WGCs, including T9 at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play where he beat Brooks Koepka and Alex Noren in the preliminary round.
Notable: Holds two wins on the European Tour, including a win at the Dubai Desert Classic in 2018 where he defeated Rory McIlroy in a head-to-head duel in the final round.
Haotong Li Quote: "Ernie is a very special person to me personally. Definitely since 2017 The Open, I played with him and finished third. He gave me a lot of experience and I learned a lot great things from him. It’s my great honor to be part of the team. Hopefully I can get some points, especially against Tiger, against the best golfer in the world. I’m very excited to be there. To be fair, our team is not as strong as the U.S. team. So just want to play our best and hopefully beat them.”
Ernie Els Quote: "Haotong is a strong player and he’s got a great game. I’ve played with him many times and at The Open two years ago where he nearly won with a 63 in the final round. He’s got all the qualities of a world-class player and maybe become No. 1 in the world one day. He’s that kind of talent. I like his style of play and he’ll be great in the team environment. He’s quite a lively character and he’s quite outspoken in a confident way. He’ll carry his weight in the team room very well. Good putter, and on his day, he can go as low as anybody. I am really excited to have him on the team.”
NO. 7 C.T. PAN
2018/19 Highlights: Won at the RBC Heritage for his first PGA TOUR win in April. Followed up with a T3 at Charles Schwab Challenge.
Notable: A former World No.1 amateur golfer. Finished T5 in the 2014 Asia Pacific Amateur Championship held at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
Quote: “It’s great to make the Presidents Cup team. I didn’t play well the last few days but to be able to lock down the spot means a lot to me. I’m going to make sure make sure my schedule for the next few months will get me ready for the Presidents Cup and help the team and Captain Els.”
Ernie Els Quote: "CT is a newcomer and we’ll do our homework to get him comfortable in the team environment and get him the right partner. Overall, he’s got a very sound game. He manages his game very well and he’s a good putter. As a rookie and a person from Chinese Taipei, it’s a big deal.”
NO. 8 CAMERON SMITH
2018/19 Highlights: Three top-10s including a best of 6th at WGC-Mexico Championship.
Notable: His lone win on PGA TOUR came at the 2017 Zurich Classic of New Orleans which he partnered Jonas Blixt. Winner of Australian PGA Championship in 2017-18. Finished T2 with Marc Leishman at 2018 ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf.
Ernie Els Quote: Cameron is very solid. With Marc Leishman last year, they played good at the World Cup of Golf. He’s very familiar with the golf course and surroundings and I’m looking for him and the other Australians to have a good week. If they can, the fans will be really involved. Cameron is kind of the young star in Australia now and he can really make a difference for us. They will be one of the pairings which will come up automatically not only through the data that will show but through their World Cup performance which was phenomenal. We will look at them as a potential pairing, absolutely.
Four Captain’s selections will be made the week of November 4th.
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