Horschel, Homa among 6 players added to Presidents Cup team
Billy Horschel finally made a U.S. team as one of six players added Wednesday to a stacked American team that will try to win the Presidents Cup for the ninth straight time.
Captain Davis Love III took two other newcomers to team competition with Max Homa, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour last season and Cameron Young, a 25-year-old who nearly won two majors as a rookie.
The other picks went to three-time major champion Jordan Spieth, two-time major champion Collin Morikawa and Kevin Kisner, who thrives in match play and contended at Quail Hollow in the 2017 PGA Championship.
The Presidents Cup is Sept. 22-25 at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina, and these matches would seem to be as lopsided as any since the event began in 1994 to give players from outside Europe a chance to play team competition like the Ryder Cup.
International captain Trevor Immelman filled out his 12-man team on Tuesday, picks that were delayed a week over uncertainty of who would leave the PGA Tour for Saudi-funded LIV Golf. Immelman lost four players who otherwise would have been on the team, including British Open champion Cameron Smith and Louis Oosthuizen.
Former Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama of Japan is the highest-ranked player on the International team at No. 16.
The Americans counter with nine players from the top 15 in the world, and no one ranked lower than Kisner at No. 26.
“These guys, this is their 12-man team that has never played together before,” Love said. “So they want to win for this team. So I don’t think we have to do too much messaging or motivation. Certainly you don’t want to be on a losing team ever. And we know we are up against it.
“Trevor is going to have a team that’s got a chip on their shoulder and that’s motivated and wants to prove that they can still be competitive. We have to be careful. Certainly these guys are not going to take it lying down.”
Horschel played in the Walker Cup when he was in college, renowned for his fiery matches with Rory McIlroy. But he never made it through qualifying or was picked for a Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup, usually a case of bad timing.
He won the FedEx Cup in 2014 with a runner-up finish and two wins. But the two wins came after the captain’s picks were decided. Horschel won the Dell Match Play a year ago but was outside the qualifying and was not selected as a Ryder Cup pick. He won the Memorial this year and finished 11th in the U.S. standings.
“I’ve been around Billy a lot over the years and I haven’t figured that out, how to rein him in. You ride his wave a little bit,” Love said. “He can certainly be over the top sometimes. But that’s what we want.”
Horschel is playing the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth this week, the European tour’s flagship event that he won last year.
Homa won his first PGA Tour title at Quail Hollow in the Wells Fargo Championship and made no secret that getting on the Presidents Cup was a chief goal this year.
The leading six qualifiers were Masters champion and world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, PGA champion Justin Thomas, Sam Burns and Tony Finau. Thomas won his first PGA Championship at Quail Hollow in 2017.
Love went down the standings for all the picks except Kisner, who finished behind Tom Hoge and J.T. Poston, both of whom won this year, neither of whom have played in a cup. Kisner went 2-0-2 in the 2017 Presidents Cup at Liberty National.
“Kevin, again, adds some veteran leadership, a guy in the team room that everybody loves having around is really, really easy to pair,” Love said.
Cantlay, Schauffele, Thomas and Finau are the only four players from the 2019 team at Royal Melbourne that rallied on the final day to beat the International team.
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