The biennial competition pits a 12-player team of the top American pros against an International squad. Unlike the Ryder Cup, the Presidents Cup is closely tied to the PGA Tour, which is a problem for players who have made the jump to LIV.
Back in June, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan sent a letter to Tour members declaring that players who chose to join LIV Golf were banned from competing in all PGA Tour, Korn Ferry, PGA Tour Champions, Canada, and Latinoamerica tour events, as well as the Presidents Cup.
At the LIV Golf event in Chicago this week, former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, who represented the International team at the last four Presidents Cups, said in an interview with SI.com that fellow LIV pros “would love to be able to play” at Quail Hollow, and the fact that they’ve been banned is “a bit of a stinger.”
“There’s a lot of pangs about missing next week,” Oosthuizen said. “… It just sucks that I can’t be around to try and do anything for the team.”
Oosthuizen was among the earliest waves of players to resign his Tour membership and join LIV Golf, a fact that he had hoped would shield him from any punishments from the Tour, such as a Presidents Cup ban, a point he contested in Chicago.
“There’s no rule that says I need to be a PGA Tour member to play the Presidents Cup, especially as an International team player,” Oosthuizen explained. “I didn’t think I did anything wrong. I made my decision where I am playing golf. But I didn’t do anything wrong while I was a PGA Tour member”
Oosthuizen later revealed that he worries most about the negative effect on fellow South African and International team captain Trevor Immleman, who was forced to craft a roster without the likes of Oosthuizen and other top International pros.
“I feel the most bad for Trev. Trevor’s a good friend. We text each other. He knew my decision beforehand. But still, it sucks,” Oosthuizen shared in Chicago. “I wanted to play for him. He’s going to be a great captain.”
The International team isn’t alone in missing talented players next week. The U.S. team will be without LIV pros Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau.