September 20, 2022
Charlotte, North Carolina
Quail Hollow Club
STEWART MOORE: Good afternoon. Welcome to the 2022 Presidents Cup here at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. We're excited to be joined by U.S. Team Captain Davis Love III and International Team Captain Trevor Immelman.
Gentlemen, before we get started, I know you each had a message for a beloved member of our media corps who's unable to be with us this week in Charlotte.
DAVIS LOVE: We're missing Steve DiMeglio this week, and a bunch of guys at the TOUR Championship sent a message. Steve, we're praying for you, we're missing you this week, and hope to see you soon.
TREVOR IMMELMAN: One of my all time favorites, spent a lot of time with Steve, such a beauty. I was actually texting with him Saturday, and we were talking about this. We told him we're going miss him here. Thoughts out to him. Hope he recovers soon and is back out here soon, back with his family.
STEWART MOORE: We love you, Steve. Davis, you are host captain this week. If you want to open with a few comments about the week in Charlotte, and we'll turn it over to you, Trevor.
DAVIS LOVE III: On behalf of the U.S. Team, we're thrilled to be here. It's been a long, long time coming. Trevor and I have been up here a few times. We were made honorary members here a little over a year ago. So this is kind of our home club again in North Carolina when we're up here. We're just really thankful that we're here and ready to go. Our team's excited.
The golf course is absolutely incredible. Everything that they built here is incredible. It's an amazing build-out. Coming from Whistling Straits, and I was just at the TOUR Championship, and you think this is a big setup with a lot of tents and a lot of sky boxes, but this is just amazing.
I'm a fan. I'm out there taking pictures of the course and sending it to my friends. Jay Haas sent us a video of the 1st tee two or three weeks ago to get the guys fired up. It's just incredible. I can't wait to see it full of people and people cheering and actually some golf being played.
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Extremely excited to be here, to have this opportunity to go up against such a stacked and strong American team. They're coming in here with a ton of confidence after their performance, you mentioned, at Whistling Straits. So for us, a young team with a bunch of rookies, this is an incredible experience for us to be here on American soil with a build-out like this that is second to none.
I've got to tip my cap to the PGA TOUR and to the Harris family for everything they've done. This is going to be an absolute spectacle. So we're thoroughly enjoying our time in Charlotte. We made a trip up here a couple weeks ago. The guys are just so excited to be here.
STEWART MOORE: Just a reminder to everyone, if you'd like to ask a question, we have two volunteers walking around with mics.
Q. For Davis, you got a team member Max Homa coming off an exciting win. He has great history here. Just some thoughts on he is a rookie, but you've got to think he'll get a few chances to play this week.
DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, he'll get a chance to play. I think we have a rule that everybody has to play once before Sunday so we'll have to put him in there (laughter).
No, I'd say there's a lot of highlights already for me, and we haven't played yet. But one of the highlights was Mack Horton from our team took luggage carts and went and met Max and his entourage about 2:00 in the morning to get him to the hotel. So that was really cool.
I was sitting on the 18th green at Minnehaha Country Club watching Steve in a playoff and then watching Max finish off his tournament and got to the airport to see him finish the tournament.
What a great way to start off our week with a win from a player and a win from a captain. Max is riding high for the last year. A lot of wins, a lot of great tournaments, and quite an exciting finish. What a way to win a golf tournament.
We have a lot of guys, you know, Billy played really well at Wentworth and a lot of guys who played well in the TOUR Championship. We're excited to go and get this one started.
Q. Trevor, I just want to know what would be the biggest influences on your pairings this week?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: There's a number of things, not just one particular aspect. There's a whole host of things that goes into that concoction to find the recipe, starting with the golf course and the way that sets up, players' strengths and weaknesses, how we think they can meld together, things we've learned over the past few Cups and in our trip here, how guys are going to match up personality-wise, golf balls.
There's a ton of different things that go into that mix, and so we spend a lot of time trying to figure that out so we can be as ready as we can come Thursday.
Q. This is also for Trevor. For some of the guys who aren't here and especially the guys who decided to make the jump pretty recently after the TOUR Championship, how was that message delivered to you, and was there a level of personal disappointment, given all of your team building efforts over the last year?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: The message was delivered to me right from those players. We're a tight group. We're a tight group. And all those players have been open and honest with me throughout their process, telling me exactly where they're at so I was up to speed on it.
Everybody has a right to make their own decisions, and I respect those guys making those decisions. I also do respect them for keeping me in the loop and making sure that I understand exactly where we're at at all times so I could try and be as prepared as I could. So I thanked them for that.
Am I disappointed that they're not able to be here? Absolutely. But we have the 12 guys here that we love and wanted to be here, and now we get to go. We get to go up against a strong American team. So we're looking forward.
Q. Question for both. Davis, it's no secret America will be the big favorite coming into this, and it's not always easy to be a favorite, especially a big favorite. I'm curious if part of your planning and part of how you deal with the players is sort of dealing with it or guarding against it in any way. Then maybe after he's done, Trevor, if there's some freedom in being the underdog and how you're kind of dealing with embracing that underdog status.
DAVIS LOVE III: We're used to being called the favorite. Even when we lose three Ryder Cups in a row, they tell us, oh, but they're the favorite. The other captain or the other team or you guys remind us that we're the favorite. So we're used to that. That's on paper, and a lot of great coaches will tell you the game's not played on paper. They're played out there on the golf course.
Statistically, yes, we have a higher ranked team, but I know a bunch of those young guys on their team, and they're going to come in with a chip on their shoulder and together.
I think what we've talked about is we both have 12 guys that support the PGA TOUR that want to play in the Presidents Cup, and are fired up to be on these teams. It doesn't really matter who the favorite is in match play. That's why we only play it -- in the regular season, we only play it once because you never know what's going to happen.
So we understand all that, and we're prepared for that.
TREVOR IMMELMAN: I think it's quite clear that we're the underdogs. We generally have been in this competition over the years so it's a tag that we're used to.
But the exciting part for us really is I do think that it frees us up, to answer your question directly, because we have nothing to lose. If you look at our record in this tournament and you look at our World Rankings versus their World Rankings, we have absolutely nothing to lose.
So we can go out there and play absolutely as free as we want, free as we can, and see if we can match up with the crazy good skills the Americans have, that they show us week in and week out.
But the excitement really comes from the standpoint of, when you're a young kid growing up outside of the U.S. or Europe and you don't have an opportunity to play against the Americans until the '90s when the Presidents Cup came about, now this is our opportunity. You're a young kid who wants to get to the highest level, you want to be on the PGA TOUR, you want to play in major championships and compete against the best, we're going to have that shot this week on American soil.
That's what excites us is the opportunity to see just how good we are.
Q. Just on that, again, being the underdog, where do you start with that message as the captain? Like what do you do specifically when you bring this group in? Like what's your process? When, you know, it's 6 1/2 points, they're saying, which I find ludicrous, but where do you start when it's that wide?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: I let them read all the stuff that you guys are writing. That's where I start (laughter).
Look, there's massive amounts of respect for the American team. All of these guys compete week in and week out, and all of us know exactly how good they are. So I don't really think you have to harp on it too much. We know where we're at. We know the adversity that our team has been through over the course of the last 12 months. So you really don't need to say too much.
I think it's worked out quite well that we've got eight rookies here because they are just so excited. Everything is new and fresh, and they're seeing everything for the first time. It's kind of like Christmas morning when you can't wait to open your presents up. That's what I'm seeing from these kids walking into the team room for the first time last night.
So that's what's fun for guys like me and Adam and the captains, Hideki, that have been here before. It's good to see that excitement out of them.
Q. Just quickly, Davis, are you aware of Dennis Conner, and are you worried that you could be a Dennis Conner?
DAVIS LOVE III: What's that?
Q. Are you aware of Dennis Conner, the skipper of the America's Cup that was unlosable?
DAVIS LOVE III: I know a little bit about the America's Cup.
Q. Are you worried about being Dennis Conner, the guy who might lose the unlosable?
DAVIS LOVE III: Am I worried about losing the Presidents Cup? I'm only worried about sitting guys out right now.
We come into these things wanting to win every time, obviously. And what I tell them, I've told several teams, unfortunately, we've had some teams that haven't been winning every time. I tell them, you don't have a record. This 12 has never competed as a team before. So you're 0-0.
This team understands -- we have pictures in our team room of winning teams. They want that picture next time.
But I have compared the Ryder Cup to the America's Cup. Like nobody really cared about the America's Cup until we started losing. Ted Turner used to live up the street from us in Atlanta, and nobody really cared until we lost it. Then we said, how could we lose a boat race, you know? We're the United States.
So I took more interest in it after that, obviously. Technology, like in golf, took off in the yachts, and it became a big sport. Same thing with the Ryder Cup, as soon as we lost it. And then it got some competitive in the Ryder Cup, we wanted to do it -- the international side wanted to do it.
The great Jackie Burke said at the Ryder Cup, when Hal Sutton was the captain, he said, "Who the hell do we think we are? We're taking on half the world one year and then half the world the next year."
So it's hard for us because they can assemble a great team from all over the place and take the best players from a lot of different countries and put them together. Eventually, the way the game's going, it should get more competitive. It should be harder for us to win. That's why we've lost a bunch of Ryder Cups. It's because it got more and more competitive.
Q. You guys have studied the course, I'm sure, in making your selections and now determining pairings. What do you see as the course profile of Quail Hollow, and what specific parts of the game does it favor or not rely on as much?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: We've seen a lot of high level, competitive golf played on this golf course. So there's really no surprises. From all the Wells Fargos we've seen, the PGA Championship, it's a course that tests every part of your game.
There's some room off of the tee as the course has evolved over the last six or seven years. Rough is not all that long, but the greens are quite severe in spots. So there is an advantage coming from the fairway for sure so it's not like you can just be blasting it all over the place.
So it asks a lot of tough questions with the long game. And then once you get on the greens, like I just said, pretty undulating, quick. So you've got to have skill, you've got to have imagination, you've got to have touch, you've got to be able to hold your nerve.
So it asks a lot of tough questions, this course. And with the routing change for the Presidents Cup, it's going to be so exciting with that stretch of holes in the middle there, a couple drivable par-4s, Green Mile, the build-out that we have. It's going to be awesome. I can't wait to see a packed house here on Thursday.
Q. This question is for both captains. I was wondering, if your teams were to go head-to-head in a basketball game, who would your starting fives be?
DAVIS LOVE III: Who would be the starting five? That's a great question. It might take a while for this.
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Well, I've got Pendrith and Davis for sure. Those are guys that are way over 6 foot, so we're happy about that. We've got some size to start this thing.
I kind of like little Tom Kim as a point guard. He's got a fast mouth on him too, so he's perfect for a point guard (laughter).
I still think we're probably underdogs if we play in basketball too, though.
DAVIS LOVE III: We won't play soccer or rugby against them for sure. We might could out-dribble them.
I would bet that Scheffler and Tony Finau are good center/power forwards. We probably have a lot of good shooting guards. I would think Jordan, Kisner. I've got some rookies on my team that I wouldn't know their basketball game, like I don't know about Max.
I bet we can't jump really high, but I bet we're quick. I'm putting Tony out there all the time, though. I have a feeling. We'd tape his ankles, though (laughter).
Q. Trevor, on such a diverse team, what impacts more on who is going to play with who on your team? Is it the ball? Is it the style of play? Is it personality? The language? What are the things that influence more who's going to play with whom on your four-balls?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: It's a combination of things for sure. It's one of the areas that's been quite a hurdle for us over the years, trying to make sure that everybody is comfortable together. Like you're blending seven or eight cultures and trying to get everybody in their sweet spot.
So it has been tricky and something we've worked really hard on over the last three or four years to try and get to a point to where we had no restrictions on our pairings from a standpoint of matching different players up.
I think we're starting to get there slowly but surely, so now it's much more about how those two players can blend together and how their games would then match up with this golf course.
Q. Davis, you mentioned supporting the PGA TOUR in your answers earlier. Is that more important than having the best 12 guys here this week?
DAVIS LOVE III: No. We've got both.
Q. So you believe that not having Dustin Johnson is a better -- makes it a lesser team, the team you have?
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, on current form back a couple months ago, Dustin would have been a pick from wherever he was in points pretty far down, but he would have been a veteran pick. Obviously, he was the hero of the team at Whistling Straits. He was a great partner for Morikawa.
So, yes, we miss him. But I think on points, we pretty much got the guys we wanted to get. I think we would have had to make a spot for him as a pick farther down unless he got on a huge roll in the FedEx Cup.
But like Trevor said, we're really happy with the 12 we've got because we know that they're committed and excited. Look at Max Homa. He was talking about it since January, "I want to make this team, I want to make this team." Billy Horschel's been trying to make -- he's been on the bubble for three or four teams. He's really excited.
So, like Trevor, we have a bunch of guys who are excited and ready to play, and there's no talk in our team room of anybody missing.
Q. Trevor, obviously there's some guys that are missing from your team. What stopped you from picking those players?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: What stopped me is the fact that when I was made captain and chosen to be captain from the players after the 2019 Cup, we signed up to a specific set of rules. This event is owned and sanctioned by the PGA TOUR, and our team is a team that plays by the rules. We're a team of our word. We're a team of honor. So that's where we're at.
And every single player that I spoke to from early on in this process knew exactly what the situation and the consequences were going to be. And they knew that if they made certain decisions, it was going to be highly unlikely they were going to be able to represent the international team. So that went into their decision-making process.
All the cards were out on the table, and everybody knew where they stood.
Q. Just to follow up, when Ernie was captain back in Australia, one of the things he tried to do is kind of make your group as a separate organization, but they didn't have the same issues that you just got done discussing. Do you think, if that would have happened, this might have been a stronger team because you would have been able to pick the players you wanted to pick?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Look, we have spoken about that in the past leading up to that Cup and obviously when Ernie had said that. And it sounds great to say that, and we looked into that. But when you look under the hood and start to figure out everything that it takes to run this event and run this team and put on an event like this, it's not really a viable option.
So then we have to make a decision. Do we still want to be a part of an incredible event like this? We absolutely do because this is our opportunity, as people that are not from Europe, to be able to compare ourselves and compete with the best team in the world. So I'd sign up for that every day of the week.
Q. Just a quick follow on what you said earlier on the rules, which I haven't seen. But one of the things it says in the handbook is that you don't have to be a PGA TOUR member to be part of the international team. Ryan Fox under consideration, for example. If Louis resigned his membership, did the TOUR ever explain why, as no longer a PGA TOUR member, he wouldn't be eligible, or did you seek an explanation?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: I did. And my understanding is that he made particular announcements and allowed himself to be used in different marketing campaigns and announcements once he was not given the release from the PGA TOUR, and he did all of those things before he resigned his membership. So there were still particular infractions there.
Q. Trevor, you talked about the number of rookies you guys have this year. What has been your message to them through the beginning portion of the week?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Have a blast and let 'er rip. We have absolutely nothing to lose. These guys have worked their butts off since they were kids, and they finally made it into this team. Making this team is a big deal.
So I've gone out of my way, and Ernie went out of his way to try to elevate the stature of our team to where players who grow up all over the world really do look to this as something they have to achieve in their career and put on their resume.
So we're starting to organically see the results of that and build that culture to where these guys are just so excited to be here. And for a guy like Tom Kim to be able to be hanging out with Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama in the team room last night, I mean, I wish you could have seen the kid's face. It was just pure joy and excitement and anticipation for the week.
So my message to them is to, number one, trust yourself, believe in yourself, and then have a blast. Enjoy every second.
Q. And you said to me when we spoke about a month ago, you said the 12 guys that wind up here, those are the 12 that wanted to be here, and those are the 12 that I want to be competing with. Do you still feel that way now?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Yes, I absolutely feel that way. That's why I answered that particular question in that way.
Every single player that ended up going and not going knew what the situation was. So it was part of the decision-making process for all of them.
So, yeah, the 12 that are here are the 12 that wanted to be here, and those are the 12 that I want to fight with.
Q. Davis, you were part of the staff when Jordan debuted in this event in 2013, and now he's the most experienced American team member. What sort of evolution have you seen from Jordan in the team room and sort of the leadership aspects that he brings?
DAVIS LOVE III: I'll never forget Jordan in 2013 bopping into the team room on Monday with shorts and a t-shirt on and started throwing ping pong balls around. And my wife Robin said, who is that kid? I go, that's the future of our team right there, and he has been.
In 2017, Steve Stricker had a little team meeting every night, and Jordan jumped up -- I think it was either Tuesday or Wednesday -- and he said, "Hey, hey, this has been real fun celebrating." I think Justin had just won the FedEx Cup, and we had a big time riding the boats in New York. And he goes, "Hey, whoa, whoa, whoa. It's going to be windy tomorrow. We've got to get ready. This is going to be a tough match."
From then on, guys have seen him kind of as a leader. We had some little meetings last night. He's a very smart guy. He's a very confident guy. And that's what we need is guys to step up.
Maybe Tony's the oldest, but he's the most experienced and the guy people look to to take the basketball and take the last shot.
Q. Trevor, a few Cups ago, it was analytics that kind of gave a team an edge, and now both teams have pretty well good infrastructure there. As you try to chip away at their advantage, what are maybe some random rabbit holes you went down or next frontier you went down just to try to get a little you less of a hole to dig yourself out of, I guess?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: You actually think I'm going to answer that question?
Q. Maybe something you didn't use. I don't know. Anything you looked at that you didn't end up using? Just give it a try.
TREVOR IMMELMAN: I'm not going there, man. They do not need any more help. I promise you.
Q. Trevor, you've been asked, obviously, a bunch of times now about underdog status, et cetera, et cetera. Like what is the case that you would make on why this team can win?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Because they're all elite athletes. They're all elite athletes, and they got to elite level playing on the PGA TOUR. You don't get here by accident, man, I can promise you. You don't get here by accident.
You put a ton of work in. You dedicate your life to it. You make sacrifice after sacrifice, investing time and money and blood, sweat, and tears to get to this level. You don't just wake up one morning and get onto the PGA TOUR. These players are legit, all 24 of them.
Q. And for all the rookies that you spoke about earlier, do you go kind of individually in terms of speaking to them about how to not be overwhelmed or whatever, or do you just kind of go group messaging? How do you attack that?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: We've been group messaging for quite some time now. We've had a squad system for about two years of about 25 players. I've been strategically talking about a lot of this. Not just with my eye on this Presidents Cup, but we're trying to continue to push off of the foundation that Ernie gave us in 2019, when he finally gave us an identity with our shield and our team colors.
So we're trying to continually build on that. So I'm trying to carry the ball a little bit further, and then whoever the next captain will be will keep going with that.
So we've got the squad mentality to where how can we bring as many people into the fold as soon as possible, looking not just at this week but guys who can play for us in the future. Get them to understand what the shield stands for, what it means to be on this team, how we like to operate, how we do things so that when the time comes, they're ready for it. Or, shall I say, a little more ready for it, at least know what to expect.
So we've been messaging for quite some time to get these guys to know just how this week will look. And then they rely on the guys that have been here a bunch. I mean, this is Adam Scott's tenth Presidents Cup. He's setting a record for the international team this week. First guy to get to double digits. And so guys like him and Hideki and even Sungjae, this is his second time, but he's an extremely accomplished golfer. Those youngsters lean on guys like that.
And then the captain assistants group, every single one of them have been there and done that at the highest level. So there's a lot of resources for these young guys to go to and get some good, solid advice.
Q. So one thing that is apparent throughout the entire conversation today is just how young the rookies are on average, both of your teams. Another thing that's really important, Trevor, is that there are five Asian players on the team, which is a record. So as we enter in the future of golf and we try to diversify the sport, how can you speak to just how impactful it is having more people of color within the sport?
And then also with you, Davis, just speaking on how great it is for the growth. And as we enter a new generation of golf, younger, avid golfers or future golfers being able to see someone that they can now follow their career and look up to.
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Yeah, it's extremely important. Like you say, five Asians on our team this time, which is a record. We have four Koreans and then Hideki from Japan. We have K.J., who's an assistant captain. He's vastly experienced and has played with us before.
I think it's just a nod and a testament to the amazing work that countries have done at the grass roots level all over the world to now where we start to see this talent break through at the highest level. We've seen it much earlier in the women's game, and we've seen how Asian women have really dominated the sport for quite some time now.
We're starting to see it come through with the men now as well. Last I checked, the internationals were leading the Junior Presidents Cup. I'm not sure what's going on right now. But once again, that's just a sign that what these countries are doing at a grass roots level all over the world is working, and we're on the right track.
Davis and I, it doesn't matter who we play for this week or who we represent, but we both want golf to be as great and inclusive as it possibly can be. So it's exciting for me to see the explosion.
When you look at our team, what we're trying to tap into is the international team represents billions of people all over the world. So we're trying to tap into that, inspire the youngsters all over, and welcome fans from all of those countries to come on down and support us in some way, shape, or form because we're their team.
DAVIS LOVE III: The only thing I'll add to that is over the last six or eight years -- I've been on the board of the TOUR five terms, and the goal is to grow the game. The goal is playing opportunities for the players.
It was the goal of Commissioner Finchem, and now Commissioner Monahan, to everybody work together to grow the game. That means all the golf organizations. So The First Tee has been an incredible program. But it's working together, the PGA of America, Junior League golf, which is one of my favorite things because the kids come out with their shirts and their numbers. And who would have ever thought that Augusta National would have a drive, chip, and putt contest and a ladies amateur tournament and the USGA and the R&A all working together to grow the game?
So there is a little bit of tension, strife in the game right now, but not amongst the golf organizations. They are working hard to do everything you asked to grow the game.
We need to take the momentum from the pandemic and everybody getting outside and playing golf and there's no tee times and not enough golf balls. They asked me a couple times, quit using so many gloves. We're running out of gloves. So we need to take that momentum and continue to grow the game.
That's what the PGA TOUR does. Nobody else does it better than the PGA TOUR.
Q. Trevor, in this type of competition, the team environment can be a game changer. How have you been able to manage such a diverse team?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: First of all, love your hat. Very nice. I got one of those in the merch shop the other day as well. Thanks for supporting our team.
It's been a process, and it's something that we've gotten better and better at over the years, and it's something that we've really had to start focusing on because we have so many different cultures that we're trying to blend together.
You know, you do it in a really simple way. You do it just by spending more time together. So as soon as those individuals buy into a common goal and they want to start hanging out together and playing practice rounds and going to dinners, then they start to learn to love each other. And once that happens, it's easy. It's easy because there's a connection.
At times there's a communication gap, but the one common denominator is the love for this game and the love for this team. So it's a lot of fun for us to see how they mesh together during the week. It really is. It's great.
I'm humbled and thankful to be a part of it this week.
Q. Trevor, do you get a sense among some of the newcomers that they're playing maybe with a chip on their shoulder, that they have something to prove that they deserve to be here?
TREVOR IMMELMAN: Sure. I think there's an aspect to that. It's like I said earlier, this is the stage to find out if you've got what it takes or not. This is the stage to test your skill level. Have you made all the right decisions up until this point to give yourself the best chance against the best in the world?
So absolutely those players have that naturally. They also naturally have a little anxiety and uncertainty, feeling their way through this process, playing in this style of event for the first time. So it's a pretty cool concoction of emotions for these guys.
It's fun for me as an observer, which is something that I enjoy doing, to see them ride that roller coaster throughout the week; you know, the elation at times, the wonder at times. When they're first walking into the team rooms and when they're receiving gifts and stuff like that, to see that kid come out.
And then also see when they walk on the 1st tee this morning, and they're looking around again. When we were here for our practice rounds a couple weeks ago, the 1st tee wasn't totally built out, and now they're seeing it finished. It's going through their minds, imagine how this is going to be when it's packed to the rafters with American fans screaming and cheering.
So it's fun for me to watch them ride that roller coaster. I think they'll be ready come Thursday because they do have something to prove.
STEWART MOORE: Davis, Trevor, thanks so much for your time. Best of luck this week.
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