Presidents Cup 2017

Golf: Internationals can't be at the Tour's mercy: Els

The US team celebrating with the Presidents Cup trophy after defeating the International team 19 to 11 at Liberty National Golf Club on Sunday. They have dominated the tournament since its 1994 inception, with 10 wins to just one for the Internationa
The US team celebrating with the Presidents Cup trophy after defeating the International team 19 to 11 at Liberty National Golf Club on Sunday. They have dominated the tournament since its 1994 inception, with 10 wins to just one for the Internationals.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

JERSEY CITY (New Jersey) • Ernie Els, tipped to take over from Nick Price as captain of the Presidents Cup International team, thinks more autonomy could help even out the lopsided rivalry with the United States.

"Definitely, to get our hands on our business personally, to make our own decisions, I think that's definitely a point that we can discuss," Els said.

Golf's biennial match play showdown, launched in 1994 to give players from countries outside Europe's Ryder Cup catchment area a shot at the Americans, is run by the PGA Tour, which chooses the captains and lays down the selection criteria for both teams as well as deciding the competition format.

In the wake of another stinging defeat by the Americans on Sunday - 19-11 at Liberty National Golf Club - Els, an assistant to Price this year, said he would like to see changes.

"I think it's got to a stage now where we have to do whatever we can to try and benefit our team," he said. "Whether it's logistics, scheduling, golf course set-up... we have to be more in control, especially whenever we have a home-course advantage.

"Maybe we should have our own selection process instead of us getting dictated by the Tour... we really need to sit down and talk about it."

But Els insisted that, despite 10 US victories to one for the Internationals, with one draw in 2003, the International players remain committed to the Cup.

  • UNITED STATES 19 INTERNATIONALS 11


    SUNDAY'S SINGLES

    USA 41/2 INTERNATIONALS 71/2

    Kevin Chappell halved  Marc Leishman (Aus)

    Jason Day (Aus) bt Charley Hoffman 2 & 1

    Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) bt Justin Thomas 3 & 1

    Daniel Berger bt Kim Si Woo (Kor) 2 & 1

    Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) bt Matt Kuchar 1-up

    Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) bt Patrick Reed 1-up

    Dustin Johnson halved Branden Grace (Rsa)

    Adam Scott (Aus) bt Brooks Koepka 3 & 2

    Jhonattan Vegas (Ven) bt Jordan Spieth 2 & 1

    Kevin Kisner halved Anirban Lahiri (Ind)

    Phil Mickelson bt Adam Hadwin (Can) 2 & 1

    Rickie Fowler bt Emiliano Grillo (Arg) 6 & 4

    SATURDAY

    FOUR-BALL: USA 3-1

    FOURSOMES: USA 31/2 - 1/2

    FRIDAY

    FOUR-BALL: USA 41/2 - 1/2

    THURSDAY

    FOURSOMES: USA 31/2 - 11/2

    AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

He added: "If negotiations don't go our way, I don't think the guys want to walk away from the Cup. The guys want to play. They want to compete. But we just want to feel that we are being treated fairly... the future of the Cup is important."

Price successfully lobbied for a reduction in the number of points per contest, from 34 to 30 beginning in 2015, arguing the greater number of matches was too big an advantage for the US team with their deeper pool of player talent.

This year, every player on the International team was a regular on the PGA Tour - lending a little more cohesion to a crew that drew players from eight countries on five continents.

However, victorious US captain Steve Stricker indicated on Sunday that he was not interested in any format changes aimed at achieving greater parity between the teams.

"We weren't really too happy with the reduction of points to start with," he said. "We wanted an event that kind of allowed all our players to go out there and play. So yeah, I don't see anything changing."

The Presidents Cup returns in December 2019 to Royal Melbourne, scene of the only International victory in 1998.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 03, 2017, with the headline 'Internationals can't be at the Tour's mercy: Els'. Print Edition | Subscribe