Jason Day headlines Ernie Els’ four Presidents Cup captain’s picks
Ernie Els’ Presidents Cup team is complete. On Wednesday evening on the East Coast, or Thursday morning in Australia, Els announced his four captain’s picks to round out his squad to compete against the Tiger Woods-led U.S. team next month.
Els picked Jason Day (Australia), Adam Hadwin (Canada), Sungjae Im (Korea) and Joaquin Niemann (Chile). The addition of Im (age 21) and Niemann (turned 21 today) make this the youngest International team in Presidents Cup history, with an average age of 29. The team now has six Presidents Cup rookies and six veterans.
For more on Els’ picks, scroll below. Tiger Woods makes his four Presidents Cup captain’s picks at 7 p.m. ET tonight on Golf Channel. The Presidents Cup is Dec. 13-15 at Royal Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia.
The selection of Day was hardly a surprise. The 31-year-old former World No. 1 was in the ninth position after the eight automatic qualifiers were solidified, and with his fifth straight Presidents Cup he’ll add important veteran leadership to the youngest International team in history. He’ll also be playing in front of a home crowd. He’s one of four Australians on the team, along with Marc Leishman, Adam Scott and Cameron Smith. Day, who had six top 10s last season, is 5-11-4 all-time in the Presidents Cup but is 22-14-0 in other match play events on the PGA Tour, which includes two WGC Match Play victories.
Hadwin, 32, will play in his second straight Presidents Cup after making his debut at Liberty National (0-2-1) two years ago. Ranked 44th in the world, Hadwin had seven top 25s and five top 10s during the 2019-20 season. He started the 2019-20 campaign strong, too, finishing as runner-up at the Safeway Open and tying for 4th at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Im, who is 34th in the world, was last year’s PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. He played in 35 events last season, recording 16 top 25s and seven top 10s. He’s already played in six events this season and has four top 25s, including a 2nd and a 3rd. This will be his Presidents Cup debut.
Niemann nabbed his first PGA Tour victory at The Greenbrier in September and becomes the first player from Chile to compete in the Presidents Cup. The 54th-ranked player in the world, Niemann first earned his PGA Tour card at 19 and had four top 10s last season.