Australia’s Steve Bowditch has been named in the International team for the Presidents Cup next month when they’ll aim to end a 17-year losing streak to the United States.
International boss Nick Price selected Bowditch and South Korean Sang-moon Bae as his captain’s picks on Wednesday to fill out his 12-man team for the biennial event which will be held between October 9-11 at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon.
“It’s been a hectic 24 hours to say the least. I’m very humbled and it’s been a dream… I’m just over the moon,” said Bowditch.
Bowditch will join compatriots Jason Day, Adam Scott and Marc Leishman who all earned automatic selection.
“I think he has played solid golf the whole summer,” Price said of Bowditch.
“I think he is at the stage of his career where he is just starting to hit his stride.
“I think this is going to be a great stepping stone for Steven. He is versatile, I think he can play with anyone on the team and there is now a balance with four Australians on the team.”
Fellow Australians Matt Jones and John Senden can count themselves unlucky, overlooked despite being much higher on the qualifying list than Bae.
Making up the rest of the team are South Africans Louis Oosthuizen, Branden Grace and Charl Scwhartzel, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama and debutants Anirban Lahiri (India), Thongchai Jaidee (Thailand) and Danny Lee (New Zealand), who pipped Jones for an automatic spot.
The Internationals will again have their work cut out against the powerful US squad, captained by Jay Haas, having won just one of the 10 contests – back in 1998 at Royal Melbourne.
Haas on Wednesday picked his son Bill and Phil Mickelson, even though he was 30th in the standings and hasn’t won in two years.
Bill Haas’ selection was expected given he’s played on the last two teams and was 11th in the standings.
Haas said Mickelson deserved a pick after making the last 20 teams – Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup – without needing one.
They join the 10 Americans automatically selected: world No.1 Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson, Jimmy Walker, Zach Johnson, Jim Furyk, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Matt Kuchar and Chris Kirk.
Bae, meanwhile, is facing mandatory military service after the matches.
Bae had been able to avoid his mandatory two-year military service throughout his US PGA Tour career until it was determined that he spent too much time in South Korea last year.
He appealed the decision, but the military courts ruled a month ago that he had to serve.