Tour Confidential: How does Trevor Immelman get the International squad back on track?
Check in each day of this week’s Presidents Cup for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors as they break down the hottest topic at Quail Hollow Club, and join the conversation by tweeting us @golf_com.
The Americans picked up an early 4-1 lead after the opening foursomes session of the Presidents Cup, and now the Internationals head to Friday fourballs looking to rebound. How does International captain Trevor Immelman get his squad back on track?
Dylan Dethier, senior writer (@dylan_dethier): Stay the course! This sounds dumb, because today was a disaster for the Internationals and because everyone was afraid they’d get boat-raced off the top. But there’s actually no need to panic, because the Presidents Cup is a marathon. They’ve only handed out five of 30 total points. The U.S. team made a bunch of long putts and squeaked out three of its four points. Time for Team USA to get complacent and for the black and yellow to rally.
Jack Hirsh, assistant editor (@JR_HIRSHey): Agreed, there is absolutely no reason to panic. However, and maybe he was planning this for fourballs anyway, Immelman shouldn’t take the gamble by leading off with Scott and Matsuyama again — and he didn’t, pairing Scott with fellow Aussie Cam Davis in the first match. If the team sees those two stars losing — like they did today — it’s going to be very difficult for them to rally. Those guys probably shouldn’t be playing together anyway as it just isn’t successful. The pair is 1-4-1 now in six career matches.
Zephyr Melton, assistant editor (@zephyrmelton): Immelman’s bunch got a much-needed boost late in the day as Si Woo Kim and Cam Davis stormed back to take down Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns. It’s just the kind of performance they’ll need to lean on to get back in this thing. Immelman needs to focus on that match and the never-say-die attitude Kim and Davis exhibited. He needs to make that the example they can rally around. Even though they’re down, they’re not quite out of it.
Sean Zak, senior editor (@Sean_Zak): Mix some heavy laxatives into whatever the American team is eating tonight. Dietary warfare, it might be their only hope!
Josh Sens, senior writer (@JoshSens): Light some incense. Bust out the amulets. Break up the Scott/Matsuyama pairing. And hope the putters heat up. Beyond that, I assume he’s already given them a Belushi-in-Animal-House, “We’re the underdogs” inspirational speech. But it’s worth giving another one. The point can’t be emphasized enough. No one is expecting these guys to win. This is a free role. No pressure. Have fun. At least, that’s the mindset Immelman should try to get his team in.
Nick Piastowski, senior editor (@nickpia): Look at the positives! Coaching 101. And I think he has. He took his pairing that won on Thursday — Cam Davis and Si Woo Kim — and is spreading that good mojo to the players who got hammered: Davis will play with Adam Scott, and Kim will team with Hideki Matsuyama. Everything else was close. And fourballs is more individual than foursomes, so that will help, too. Friday should be a fun one.