Internationals sick of losing to US in The Presidents Cup

Posted on November 16, 2011

MELBOURNE -- Captain Greg Norman said yesterday his International team are “sick and tired” of losing to the United States in The Presidents Cup and are desperate to notch their first win in 13 years.

Australian Adam Scott (R), playing for the International team, putts with teammate South African Ernie Els (L) during a practice round for the Presidents Cup golf event at the Royal Melbourne golf course, in Melbourne, on Nov. 15. -- AFP

The formidable US team has dominated the biennial event with six wins against just one for the Internationals, back in 1998 at this week’s Royal Melbourne venue. The 2003 event finished in a tie in South Africa.

The non-European International team, featuring golfers from Australia, South Africa, Japan and South Korea, are at a disadvantage against the United States, who play the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams format in alternate years.

The American team includes nine of the world’s top 20 players plus former world number one Tiger Woods, ranked 50, who shows signs of returning to form after a third-place finish at the Australian Open on Sunday.

The Internationals have four in the top 20, led by Australians Adam Scott and Jason Day. The team also includes six-time Presidents Cup campaigner Ernie Els and two-time US Open champion Retief Goosen.

“I know my guys are sick and tired of getting beaten and we’ve won in 1998 and that’s it and with another tie and they want to win,” Norman said.

“And I love to hear that kind of talk from my players because when you’re an individual and you are used to winning golf tournaments and you’re not winning a certain golf tournament as a team you want to band together very tightly.

“That’s what I’m feeling this week with my guys, they’re sick of getting beaten.”

Norman believes home advantage, with weekend crowds expected to be around 30,000, will be an advantage for the Internationals as well as Australian experience of the Royal Melbourne course.

“I would say probably more to the home crowd than the golf course,” he said.

“These guys know how to adapt to golf courses. I think Melbourne is a great spectator town and they will come out like they did in ‘98 and I think it will slowly build up into the weekend where we’ll have pretty good home field advantage.”

Counterpart Fred Couples, who said he was in an easier situation than Norman as non-playing captain of the American team.

“It’s easier for me than Greg. He has guys that come from four countries, while I’ve got 12 buddies.

“He’s got different flags and we all have one flag and we are very proud to be here. We have older guys and we have younger guys, and I think it’s a pretty unique mix.”

Norman and Couples are great fans of the famed composite Royal Melbourne sandbelt layout with a reputation as one of the premier courses in the world. -- AFP