Cup star

The effects of LIV Golf have brought the Presidents Cup under scrutiny this month.

After the withdrawal of world number two Cameron Smith and Chile’s Joaquin Niemann, who signed on for the rebel series, international captain Trevor Immelman was forced to make six captains picks for this month’s Presidents Cup in Charlotte.

One of the six selections is Presidents Cup rookie Christiaan Bezuidenhout, who will represent South Africa alongside Immelman.

Bezuidenhout is the 64th-ranked South African golfer, trailing Louis Oosthuizen, who has dropped to 31st due to LIV Golf events not awarding world golf ranking points.

Bezuidenhout finished 51st in the FedEx Cup standings for the 2021/22 PGA Tour season, playing in 24 events and missing only four cuts.

Bezuidenhout, who represented South Africa at the Tokyo Olympics last year, finished the John Deere Classic in March with 10 Top 25 finishes, one Top 10 finish, and a tie for second place.

Immelman, a well-known PGA Tour commentator and analyst, says Bezuidenhout’s putting game has impressed him this season.

“Without a doubt. “I’ve been closely following Christiaan’s progress over the last couple of years and have been very impressed with his consistency and demeanour,” Immelman said on Tuesday.

“Another aspect of his game that I’ve grown to appreciate since he began playing more frequently in the United States is his putting.” It is, in fact, a weapon.

“In the last few seasons on the PGA Tour, he’s been in the top six in strokes gained, which is extremely impressive when you consider that he’s playing a lot of these golf courses for the first time.” So he doesn’t have a lot of experience on the green complexes, but he ranks very high in that putting statistic, which I think is extremely important in 18-hole match-play when it’s a sprint out there. You have to get a good start and make a lot of birdies.”

Bezuidenhout’s story is well-known in golf circles, and Immelman believes that having a fighter like Bezuidenhout is exactly what this International team requires.

“The other thing about Christiaan is that despite the adversity he faced as a child and everything he went through, he has a certain amount of toughness about him deep down.” “It’s not arrogant,” Immelman clarified.

“It’s something very tangible that I believe gives him a significant advantage.” He’s definitely someone I wanted on our team.”

The 14th Presidents Cup will be held from September 22 to September 25 at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, with US President Joe Biden serving as honorary chairperson.

The US team has won 11 of the previous 13 Presidents Cups, with the International Team winning only once, in 1998 in Melbourne. When the event was held in South Africa in 2003, there was a historic 17-17 tie.

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