Els opts for wild mix in Cup battleSports | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 8 Nov 2019
South African golfing great Ernie Els opted yesterday for the experience of Jason Day and Adam Hadwin alongside rookies Im Sung Jae and Joaquin Niemann as he made his captain's picks for the Internationals Team to play Team USA in the Presidents Cup next month.
They tee off at Australia's Royal Melbourne from December 12-15 against a US side captained by Tiger Woods, who unveils four wildcards.
"I needed guys in solid form," said Els. "That's why I went for these four guys, who are very consistent."
Former world No 1 Day will feature in his fifth Presidents Cup despite having seen his ranking slip to 29th while No 44 Hadwin will make his second appearance.
South Korea's Im, the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, and Chile's Niemann have been in spectacular form. Both make their Cup debuts.
Im, 21, tied for third with Rory McIlroy two weeks ago at the Zozo Championship in Japan - won by Woods - and the world No 34 followed up with a tied 11th at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai on Sunday.
Li Haotong of China, Taiwan's Pan Cheng-tsung and Mexico's Abraham Ancer make debuts as automatic qualifiers together with South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama.
Day's selection makes it four Australians in the 12-player team as he joins Cameron Smith, making a first appearance, plus Marc Leishman and Adam Scott.
Els believes Woods will select himself for a wildcard as "I don't think he has any choice. He's a good captain and it will be good for the event."