‘We’re a team of honor’: Captains Davis Love III, Trevor Immelman address lack of LIV Golf players at Presidents Cup

·3 min read

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — When looking at the rosters for both the American and International teams at this week’s Presidents Cup, some big names are missing.

Even though players such as Dustin Johnson and Cameron Smith, who made the jump from the PGA Tour to Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf, aren’t competing this week at Quail Hollow Club, their lack of presence was felt and addressed ahead of the biennial bout.

“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,” International captain Trevor Immelman said alongside American captain Davis Love III in a pre-event press conference on Tuesday. “And 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. So that went into their decision-making process.

“All the cards were out on the table, and everybody knew where they stood.”

Meet the teams: Americans | Internationals
Lynch: Americans finally have reason to win event they almost never lose

When Immelman was made captain after the Internationals lost a close match, 16-14, in 2019 at Royal Melbourne in Australia, he said he signed up for a specific set of rules, seeing as the event is owned and sanctioned by the PGA Tour, and that his team plays by those rules.

“We’re a team of our word. We’re a team of honor,” he continued. “So that’s where we’re at.”

A two-time member of the International squad as a player in 2005 and 2007 and an assistant in 2019, Immelman said he was up to speed, and players who made the move to LIV were “open and honest” throughout their decision-making process.

“Am I disappointed that they’re not able to be here? Absolutely,” said Immelman. “But we have the 12 guys here that we love and wanted to be here, and now we get to go. We get to go up against a strong American team. So we’re looking forward.

“When you look at our team, what we’re trying to tap into is the International team represents billions of people all over the world,” he continued. “So we’re trying to tap into that, inspire the youngsters all over, and welcome fans from all of those countries to come on down and support us in some way, shape, or form because we’re their team.”

Love, a two-time Ryder Cup captain in 2012 and 2016, said the Americans miss players like Johnson, who would have been a captain’s pick had he been eligible for the event, but thinks the red, white and blue “pretty much got the guys we wanted to get.”

“We’re really happy with the 12 we’ve got because we know that they’re committed and excited,” Love added. “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.”

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek