Trevor Immelman reveals the ‘crap’ he’s heard — and an analyst’s apology
Trevor Immelman has heard the suggestions.
“Blow this thing up,” he said.
“They got to change the format.”
“They got to cut the points.”
“We got to bring the women golfers in.”
“I’ve had to listen to that crap for two years now,” Immelman said.
Now one prominent analyst has apologized, he also said.
On his podcast this week, longtime instructor Claude Harmon III said that Paul McGinley had joined the chorus in offering ideas to improve the Presidents Cup, after the Immelman-captained International team lost to the Americans last Sunday for the 12th time in 14 playings of the event. The comments, Harmon said, came Sunday night on Golf Channel’s Live From show.
On Monday, Immelman said he got a text.
“I appreciate the fact that they may be trying to think outside of the box,” he said on the Son of a Butch podcast. “But they need to come up with something else. And I hope Paul doesn’t get offended by me saying this, but he texted me on Monday. And he apologized for saying that on Live From.
“Because he realized what playing for the shield means to us. What having the opportunity to compete in the Presidents Cup against the Americans means to us. And he realized that, and he realized that his take was incorrect and he texted me to apologize. And I thanked him for having the guts to text me and to apologize and I thanked him for realizing how much that event means to us.”
Of course, Immelman is going to defend himself and his team. And both Immelman and Harmon understood the point; when you go 1-12-1, as the Internationals have, and are without key players because of their play in LIV Golf, as the Internationals are, folks start to workshop.
But on the podcast, Immelman said that’s off base.
He also sees a path under the status quo.
“I find it disrespectful on all accounts, to be extremely honest with you,” he said. “I find it disrespectful to us as international golfers that are professional athletes that compete at the highest level week in and week out. We’re not scrubs. Are we as strong as the Americans? Doesn’t quite look like it right now. Have they kicked our butts in this event? They sure have. But there’s been some close calls. And so I find it disrespectful to us.
“I find it equally disrespectful to the women golfers. And here’s why. I don’t think women golfers need men to make them and their competitions relevant. Their competitions are already relevant. I sit down and watch every single shot of the Solheim Cup. Every single shot. It’s one of my favorite times of the year when that event goes on. I watched the U.S. Women’s Open. I watched the Women’s British Open a few weeks ago when South African Ashleigh Buhai came down the stretch, almost coughed it up and won in the playoff at Muirfield, matching Ernie Els’ win at the Open at Muirfield. Women don’t need men to make them relevant in sport. My family and I were glued to the TV when Serena Williams played her last match at the U.S. Open. She’s one of the greatest athletes to ever walk on the planet. So I find it disrespectful on all accounts when people come with that opinion.”
So how can the Internationals close the gap?
Immelman has a thought.
“Let’s leave the Presidents Cup and the International team alone, for now,” he said on the podcast. “And let us compete. And allow youngsters from Thailand and China and Japan and Korea and Australia and South Africa and Canada and all over South America, allow them to grow up with this as their goal, to be able to compete on this level.
“Because we are eventually going to win this event, I promise you.”
You can listen to the entire interview — which you should! — below.