Minutes before the announcement was made that Jordan Spieth and Webb Simpson would be added to the United States President’s Cup team, the two international captain’s picks were made public. Captain Nick Price decided to go with Brendon de Jonge and Marc Leishman to round out the international squad that will go head-to-head with the United States at Murifield Village in October. They will join Adam Scott, Jason Day, Charl Schwartzel, Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen, Branden Grace, Richard Sterne, Hideki Matsuyama, Graham DeLaet and Angel Cabrera.
Several players in addition to de Jonge and Leishman were in consideration, but in the end Price felt those two gave his side the best chance to compete. Some felt that Clark, K.J. Choi or Thongchai Jaidee had a good shot at earning the bids, as well. The international team has only won this event once since its inception in 1994 and Price is hoping to put together a group that will change those results. That victory came in 1998 when the tournament took place at Royal Melbourne. It’s going to be a tough test for the international side to overtake the strong American team.
Neither of Price’s captain’s picks has taken part in this event before. Leishman is fresh off the heels of a T-16 finish at the Deutsche Bank Championship that was likely part of the reason Price looked in his direction. He also put together a string of four consecutive top 15 results that included a T-4 at The Masters and a T-8 at The Players Championship. De Jonge, on the other hand did pick up four top-10 finishes this year, but his best result was a T-6 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
This was obviously a difficult choice for Price. He had to take into consideration several variables in order to ultimately arrive at the decision he felt was best for the team. The players that weren’t selected will almost assuredly feel slighted, but I think Price made the right decision.