Paul McGinley calls for Presidents Cup to become 'mixed' event
Led by Davis Love III, the United States are heavy favourites on this occasion due to a combination of a record win in last year’s Ryder Cup over Europe and Trevor Immelman’s International side being severely weakened in Charlotte.
That follows the likes of Open champion Cameron Smith, Chile’s Joaquin Niemman, Mexican Abraham Ancer and Anirban Lahiri from India all making themselves ineligible when they signed for LIV Golf.
“Make it a mixed event,” said McGinley, a winning Ryder Cup captain at Gleneagles in 2014, as he delivered his view on the future of the Presidents Cup on the Golf Channel. “I know it’s a radical change, but men and women - six of each on each team.
“I just think that with the strength and quality you have in the ladies’ game now, in the International side I think that would equate the teams and I think that would be a lot of fun.”
If such a format had been in place for this year, the six women in the International line up would have been Jin Young Ko, Minjee Lee, Lydia Ko, Atthaya Thitikul, Booke Henderson and In Gee Chun, all of whom are currently inside the world top ten.
“I’ve been saying it for a year or two and I think the Presidents Cup is a perfect opportunity for it,” added McGinley, whose voice seems to be respected more than ever in the game. “We talk about growing the game, we talk about all the ideas that would come with it, a couple of people out there think it is a good idea.”
Former Masters champion Immelman has eight rookies on his team in Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Corey Conners, Cam Davis, Tom Kim, K.H. Lee, Sebastian Munoz, Taylor Pendrith and Mito Pereira.
It’s not an ideal situation against an American side that includes world No 1 Scottie Scheffler, US PGA champion Justin Thomas and Genesis Scottish Open title holder Xander Schauffele, but the South African has faith in his players.
“I think it’s quite clear that we’re the underdogs. We generally have been in this competition over the years, so it’s a tag that we’re used to,” said Immelman.
“So we can go out there and play absolutely as free as we want, free as we can, and see if we can match up with the crazy good skills the Americans have, that they show us week in and week out.”
Thomas, meanwhile, has no interest in talk about a new team event seeing the PGA Tour go head-to-head with LIV Golf players down the line. “No. Don’t see the need to,” he replied in blunt terms to being asked about that possibility.
“They're more than happy doing what we're doing, and we're doing great what we're doing,” he added. “So just don't see the need for it.”
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