Yesterday, we took a look at the current standings for the 2013 Presidents Cup teams and noticed that six South Africans and four Australians make up the ten automatic selections for the International Team, but is this really the International Team the PGA Tour would be hoping for?
The 2013 Presidents Cup will be held at Muirfield Village Country Club in Ohio and is still over six months away (October 1 – 6), long enough for the make up of both the US and International Teams to change dramatically but it is interesting to consider whether the International Team is as international as the PGA tour would like it to be.
The Presidents Cup teams event was first held in 1994 and some have cynically suggested the PGA Tour created the event to rival the more prestigious Ryder Cup, a teams event which jointly run by the PGA of America and the PGA European Tour.
The US Team have won seven of the nine Presidents Cup’s but despite the imbalance in the results the PGA Tour are (quite rightly) looking raise the profile of the event, largely in Asian countries such as China, Japan and South Korea.
Three South Korean players represented the International Team at Royal Melbourne in 2011 and KT Kim, YE Yang and KJ Choi were all a part of the announcement made by PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem that South Korea host the 2015 Presidents cup. A large contingent of South Korean media were there for the announcement that will see the Presidents Cup hosted in Asia for the first time.
The presence of Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa in the International Team was enough for a huge number Japanese journalists to also cover the event in Melbourne and provide plenty of coverage in the Japanese media.
But without any Asian representatives in the current make up of the International Team, the 2013 Presidents Cup may not attract the media interest in Asian countries the PGA Tour is hoping for. From a purely personal perspective it would be great to have more countries we have representing the International Team to raise the profile of golf around the world, which I doubt is a PGA Tour raison d’etre.
The US and International Teams may change dramatically in the next six months but it is hard not to speculate on who Nick Price may select as his two captain’s picks for the International Team if the final team is made up of just South Africans and Australians. One wonders if Tim Finchem may have some say in Price’s final decision.
Frankly, I wonder whether Price should recruit South African born Justin Rose into the squad. We’re going to need all the help we can get.