Still hope for Clark in Presidents Cup team
South African golfer Tim Clark could still make the International Presidents Cup team despite missing out on automatic qualification on Monday.
A record five South African players made the team at the cut-off date and Clark would have been the sixth member.
Clark was in the 10th and final qualifying spot for the team, but a missed cut at the PGA Tour’s Deutsche Bank Championship meant he dropped out of contention.
Zimbabwean non-playing captain Nick Price, however, may still opt to go for Clark as one of his captain’s picks with his past record at the event.
Price said he would consider selecting the experienced player from Umkomaas.
“Timmy Clark unfortunately missed the cut and probably lost a couple of positions.” Price said on Monday.
“I think that’s a really important point and something I’m going to have to address tomorrow (Tuesday) with the other players when I speak with them and what do we do.
“We have potentially six or seven rookies on our team, do we go for the experienced guys, or go for the youth and inexperience?” The five South Africans who made the team are Charl Schwartzel, Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen, Branden Grace and Richard Sterne.
The other members of the international team were Adam Scott and Jason Day of Australia, Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, Graham DeLaet of Canada, and Angel Cabrera of Argentina.
Clark made three appearances for the Internationals in 2003 [tied], 2005 and 2009.
The biennial competition, which pits non-European international players against an all-American side in a matchplay format, and is modelled on the Ryder Cup.
The event is scheduled to take place at Muirfield Village Golf Club, in Ohio, from October 1 to 6.
Each captain is allowed to make two picks from players who have not made the team.
Price said the major decision-making would be done on Tuesday, ahead of announcing his picks on Wednesday.
“I’m going to get with all the players, get some of their views now that we have finalised the Top-10 and make a decision from there,” he said.
“I think I’m down to five, maybe six guys at the most, but I’m going to be looking at the guys who are in form harder than the other guys.” Clark would also factor well in Price’s selection, as the 37-year-old boasts strong iron-play and a consistent all-round game which would combine well with the longer-hitters on the team.
“I’m going to look tomorrow at potential match-ups, who is going to play with who and who I think would be best suited to play with who,” Price said.
“Obviously those two picks are going to be a huge part of that decision as to who I think will complement the team for all.” After the captain’s picks are made, Price could face a further selection headache over the fitness of Oosthuizen, who ended fifth in the standings.
Oosthuizen has been struggling with a neck and back injury since July, and has only committed to returning to play at the Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland a week before the Presidents Cup.
If Oosthuizen is unable to play, Price would be given a third captain’s pick.
Presidents Cup teams:
US team: Tiger Woods, Brandt Snedeker, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner, Steve Stricker, Bill Haas, Hunter Mahan, Zach Johnson.
International team: Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel, Jason Day, Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen, Hideki Matsuyama, Branden Grace, Graham Delaet, Richard Sterne, Angel Cabrera.