Five Asian golfers , including a record of four Koreans, will feature in the International Team for the 2022 Presidents Cup after Captain Trevor Immelman selected Korea’s K.H. Lee and Si Woo Kim amongst his six picks to round up his 12-man team to face the United States Team later this month.
Immelman also opted for South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Australia’s Cam Davis, Colombia’s Sebastian Muñoz and Canada’s Taylor Pendrith. It will mark Lee’s Presidents Cup debut following his career best season on the PGA TOUR while Kim will make his second appearance after playing in the 2017 edition.
This will be the first time four Koreans are on the same International Team as Sungjae Im, who finished a career high tied second in the recently concluded FedExCup, and exciting young talent Tom Kim, who won his maiden PGA TOUR title last month, had automatically qualified to play for the team. Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, an eight-time PGA TOUR winner, also qualified for his fifth straight team.
In the last edition in 2019, the International Team also consisted of five Asian golfers, representing the growing strength of Asian golf. In total, seven countries are represented on Immelman’s side: Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Japan, South Africa and Korea, with Adam Scott, Corey Conners, Mito Pereira having already qualified earlier to face the U.S.
The Presidents Cup will be contested at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, the week of September 20-25.
Lee said: “It will be my first time playing in the Presidents Cup and I’m very happy and honoured to be picked by our captain. I’m quite nervous but happy for sure. We have two weeks until the event and I can’t wait for it. I was really pleased to receive the call from Trevor. I am prepared to be paired with anyone since they are all good players. There will be synergy pairing up with anybody,” said Lee.
Kim added: “Trevor called a week after the Playoffs and I was happy as it means I’ll be able to play in my second Presidents Cup. I look forward to contributing to our team’s cause. It’s great that four Korean players have made it. With so many Koreans on this team, it does raise my pride to be a Korean. When I first played in 2017, I was the only player from my country back then, which made me little lonely. But now we have many players, we can speak the same language and I’m happy about this.”
Immelman said Lee was a prime candidate to earn one of his six captain’s picks after the 31-year-old qualified for his first TOUR Championship, which is limited to the top-30 players on the FedExCup ranking. Lee had successfully retained his AT&T Byron Nelson title in May for his second TOUR victory and posted seven other top-25s in the recent season.
“K.H. is a proven winner and someone who has performed at a high level for quite some time. With each of his AT&T Byron Nelson wins, he went toe-to-toe with some of the best players in the world, but his final-round charge at the BMW Championship (to finish T5), where he nearly made our top eight automatic qualifiers, showed me a lot about his grit and determination. With K.H., Si Woo, Tom Kim and Sungjae Im, we have the largest contingent of Korean players on this team in Presidents Cup history, which I’m sure is a proud moment for everyone in their home country,” said Immelman, who is leading the International Team for the first time.
Immelman added the 27-year-old Si Woo Kim, who is a three-time PGA TOUR winner, was another player he has kept on his radar following a consistent season which saw him post 11 top-25s. “Si Woo simply could not be overlooked. He is the youngest player to have ever won THE PLAYERS at 21 years old; he has Presidents Cup experience from competing in 2017 on American soil; he is extremely popular in the locker room; and I have deep respect for his unlimited potential.”
Since the Presidents Cup inauguration in 1994, there have been two occasions when four Asians featured on the International Teams – 2011: K.J. Choi (Kor), Y.E. Yang (Kor), K.T. Kim (Kor), Ryo Ishikawa (Jpn); 2015: Sangmoon Bae (Kor), Thongchai Jaidee (Tha), Anirban Lahiri (Ind), Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn). In 2019 at Royal Melbourne, Sungjae Im (Kor), Byeong Hun An (Kor), Haotong Li (Chn), Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) and C.T. Pan (Tpe) were part of the International Team which narrowly lost to the U.S. Choi will be one of Immelman’s captain’s assistants at Quail Hollow.
For more information about the Presidents Cup, or to purchase tickets, please visit PresidentsCup.com.