Price relishes Presidents Cup role

HARARE - With the Presidents Cup only six months away, Nick Price is pleased to be the captain of the International Team for the third time during this biennial golf tournament.

The Zimbabwean Hall of Famer was first named captain of the Internationals Team in 2013 and was given the same honour in 2015.

This year, the tournament will be staged at the Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City in the Unites States from September 26 to October 1.

“I was trying to figure out if they couldn’t find anyone else,” Price said during a press conference yesterday.

“I was obviously deeply honoured, in particular by the players who were on the teams who asked me to do it. The Presidents Cup means an awful lot to me. I played in the first one.”   

The International Team has lost to their US Team counterparts on both previous occasions Price has captained the side.

In 2015 at the Incheon in South Koreaa, Price and his team lost out narrowly with the final scoreboard reading 15 ½-14 ½ in favour of the US Team captain by Jay Haas.

To be fair to Price though, the International Team has only won once in the tournament’s 23-year history.

Each team will consist of 12 players each, 10 from the standings and two captains picks.

However, the US Team will go into the Presidents Cup high on confidence following their thrilling victory over Europe in last year’s Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota.

New US Team captain Steve Stricker will also be boosted by the fact that the 10 US players currently qualified for the tournament have an average ranking of 21.6, compared to 25.0 for the International team according to the world rankings this week.

While the Internationals have three of the top eight players in Jason Day, Hideki Matsuyama and Adam Scott, the Stricker’s team is also has Phil Mickelson, who is one spot outside the top 10.

“We’ve got our work cut out for us,” Price said. “The U.S. Team is coming off the high of the Ryder Cup victory after playing phenomenally. And I don’t think their team is going to change too much.”

Price, who won three golf majors during his illustrious career, is not the only Zimbabwean connection at this year’s President’s Cup.

Late last year, he also retained his fellow compatriot Tony Johnstone as one of his four assistant captains for the third time.

“I was delighted and honoured to be asked by Nick to be an assistant again,” Johnstone said at the time.

“The last two Presidents Cups have been fantastic experiences. You can’t find a man to whom the Presidents Cup means more than it does to Nick. We all admire his captaincy and love and respect him as a man, and nothing would give more pleasure than to see him become a winning captain.”

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