CHARLOTT, North Carolina. Players not in the room of Trevor Immelman’s international team this week at the Presidents’ Cup dominated conversations Tuesday at Quail Hollow.
In particular, Immelman has been under pressure over Luis Oosthuizen, a major player on previous international teams, who was deemed ineligible for this year’s competition after pulling out of the PGA Tour for the Saudi-backed LIV Golf league.
Unlike some of the players who joined the LIV, Oosthuizen renounced Tour membership when he joined the rebel circuit and did not join the antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour, prompting some to question why he was ineligible for the event, which does not require an International player to be a participant in the Tour.
“I understand that he made certain announcements and allowed himself to be used in various marketing campaigns and announcements when he was not given [a conflicting-event release] from the PGA Tour, and he did all of this before he resigned,” Immelman explained. “There were still isolated violations.”
More broadly Immelman, whose team would have included Cameron Smith and Joaquin Niemann as automatic qualifiers for this week’s matches, and Mark Leishman, Carlos Ortiz, Abraham Unser and Branden Grace as possible captains had they not joined the LIV Golf, said players shouldn’t have been surprised by the sanctions and suspensions of the Tour.
“Every player that I spoke to from the very beginning of this process knew exactly what the situation and the consequences would be. They knew that if they made certain decisions, it was unlikely that they would be able to represent an international team,” said Immelman. “It went into their decision-making process. All the cards were laid out on the table and everyone knew where they were.”