Golf: Give it a shot, Nick Price tells his underdogs ahead of Presidents Cup

NICK PRICE, Team International captain,
NICK PRICE, Team International captain,

International captain upbeat after slim loss in 2015, says his side can upset the Americans

NEW YORK • International team captain Nick Price is hopeful his "hodgepodge" team of 12 non-European golfers from around the world can gel this week and inflict a rare defeat on the United States in the Presidents Cup.

A one-sided record has kept the biennial event from gaining the status the PGA Tour hoped for when it created the Ryder Cup-copycat competition in 1994.

It has been largely a history of futility for the International team, with just one victory and one tie in 11 editions, including six defeats in six attempts on US soil.

"It's difficult for us, a team of eight nations this year, to get the camaraderie and get the team spirit," Price said on Tuesday at Liberty National in New Jersey.

This will be his third time at the helm, and he said the eight players returning from the close defeat in South Korea two years ago had developed a strong bond which should stand them in good stead.

"What happened in South Korea really was a shot in the arm for guys like Adam Scott, Louis (Oosthuizen) and Jason (Day), who have never been on a winning team," said the three-time Major winner.

"The team room on that Sunday night, it was a very humbling experience for me because the guys emotionally spilt their guts out to everyone how important it was to them and how much they enjoyed it.

"Even though we are a hodgepodge of a team from all around the world, we are all competitors and we like to compete and don't like to get beaten. That's the bottom line.

LOSING'S NEVER FUN

Even though we are a hodgepodge of a team from all around the world, we are all competitors and we like to compete and don't like to get beaten. That's the bottom line.

NICK PRICE, Team International captain, on their less-than-stellar record in the Presidents Cup.

World No. 22 Scott, who has a 13 wins, 17 losses and five halves record, said: "It's good to see a lot of young blood in the team and excitement levels are at an all-time high."

Six of the 12 players are aged below 30. Scott said: "For them to lift me up, too, and make me feel young again is important."

This year's team features three Australians (Day, Scott, Marc Leishman), three South Africans (Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Branden Grace) and one player each from Japan (Hideki Matsuyama), South Korea (Kim Si Woo), India (Anirban Lahiri), Canada (Adam Hadwin), Venezuela (Jhonattan Vegas) and Argentina (Emiliano Grillo).

All except Kim, Hadwin, Vegas and Grillo were on the team who lost by one point to the Americans two years ago.

And, even though the Internationals are technically playing an away game, Price is hoping the melting pot that is New York City will come out to support the visitors.

"Of all the cities you want to play in for the Internationals, this is the best one because it's the most cosmopolitan city in America and made up of so many ethnicities," the Zimbabwean said. "We are hoping to get a lot of support out there. New York fans are as vocal as can be, so there's going to be a lot of noise out there, which is great.

"That all adds to the atmosphere. Our guys are ready for it."

REUTERS


PRESIDENTS CUP

Day 1: StarHub Ch112/205 & 76.25MHz, tomorrow, 12.30am

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 28, 2017, with the headline 'Give it a shot, Price tells his underdogs'. Print Edition | Subscribe