Trevor Immelman revealed that he had to drop Luis Ousthuisen from his international team to face the United States in the Presidents’ Cup this week because the South African appeared on posters and on a website promoting the launch event of the rebel LIV series worth 20 million pounds in Hertfordshire. in June.
The international team was already considered an underdog against the Americans, but the PGA Tour told Immelman that he couldn’t pick the 2010 Open champion because Oosthuizen had broken one of his little-known rules.
The reason, according to Immelman, “is that Louis made certain announcements and allowed himself to be used in various marketing campaigns and announcements after he was not given permission to participate in the PGA Tour, and he did all this before he refused its membership. … So, there were still separate violations.”
Telegraph Sport understands that there is unrest in those parts of the international hierarchy that Sawgrass headquarters insisted that Immelman could not choose any LIV rebelseven the likes of 39-year-old Osthuizen, who resigned from the tour before being banned for playing on a Saudi funded scheme.
Immelman saw his side greatly weakened with world #3 Cam Smith jumping shipalong with world No. 21 Joaquin Niemann, world No. 24 Abraham Unser and seasoned campaigners such as Mark Leishman and Charl Schwarzel.
However, Immelman argues that it is the Oosthuizen that will be missed the most in Charlotte, North Carolina as the rest of the world team (excluding Europe) tries to beat the United States for the first time in nine matches and only the second time since the Ryder Cup Clone was first played on 28 years ago.
“Louis is a huge loss on and off the pitch”
“It hurts us a lot,” Immelman said. “Louis [was an] an integral part of an international team. He is so experienced and still has what it takes to compete at the highest level under the most pressure. Besides the way he plays, he is one of the leaders in the dressing room. It’s a huge loss on and off the track.”
For his part, Ostwizen was baffled by the Tour’s decision. “I thought that by giving up my membership before I did something wrong, actually…well, there is no rule that I need to be on the PGA Tour to play in the Presidents Cup, especially as an international team player.” “, – he said. “It’s a punch in the gut.”
This is not the first time Oosthuizen has faced the Tour over the Presidents’ Cup. In 2015, the 2010 Open champion threatened to boycott unless the Tour reduced the number of points in the game from 34 to 30, giving the underdogs the opportunity to bench their weakest players. The Tour reluctantly agreed, but there was still a burning feeling that the Americans should not decide how an international team chooses its dozen.
After the last match, when the United States won 16:14, Ernie Els, then team captain, stated: “I know this is a PGA Tour sanctioned tournament, but … get our own choice.”
If the bookmakers are right and this is a resounding victory for the home team, then expect more international backlash. “We need to be able to control our own destiny,” Els said.