Immelman named international Prez Cup captain


Trevor Immelman, who played in two Presidents Cup and was an assistant captain for Ernie Els at Royal Melbourne in December, was named Tuesday as the International team captain for 2021.

Immelman, who won the 2008 Masters and would have been competing in the tournament this week had it not been postponed, will attempt to become just the second captain to guide an International team to victory as the United States leads the competition 11-1-1.

“When I learned I was in the running and the final decision was made, I was very humbled,” said Immelman, 40, who next year will be the youngest captain in the event’s history. “I have a massive respect for the game of golf and the history of the game and what the PGA Tour has done for golfers all over the world.

“I thoroughly enjoyed playing in the Presidents Cup. I thrived and enjoyed a team environment and being part of a team. To get a taste of that again in Australia with these guys was awesome. I want to try and carry that on.”

The International team nearly pulled off the upset at Royal Melbourne, taking a 10-8 lead into the Sunday singles before the Americans, led by captain Tiger Woods, rallied for a 16-14 victory.

Ernie Els, a mentor to fellow South African Immelman, was the International team captain.

“I’ve looked up to Ernie my whole career going back to a junior starting the game,” Immelman said. “Got to know him well over the years. To be there as part of the support staff was a lot of fun. We almost found a way to cause a massive upset.

“What Ernie did was find a way to bridge that gap from a standpoint of really creating great team chemistry going into the event. There was a lot of work and planning from everybody involved to buy and get to know each other. Once we got down there, we were focused on the strategies we had. There wasn’t any time wasted trying to get to know everybody. That was a masters stroke on his part. And we almost pulled it off.”

Immelman will try to bring those same concepts to Charlotte next year, where the Presidents Cup will be played at Quail Hollow Golf Club — site of the annual Wells Fargo Championship — from Sept. 23-26, 2021.

He is the seventh International captain, following Els, Nick Price, Greg Norman, Gary Player, Peter Thomson and David Graham.

“Trevor was an invaluable member of our team and completely bought into what we were trying to do at Royal Melbourne, so it is gratifying to see him take this next step and lead the International team,” Els said.

As a player, Immelman competed in the 2005 and 2007 Presidents Cups. He also has two PGA Tour titles, including the Masters and now works primarily as an analyst for CBS-TV and GolfChannel.

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