Johnson, Matsuyama spearhead Presidents Cup rivals

NEW YORK: World number one Dustin Johnson and Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama will spearhead the United States and International team line-ups at the Presidents Cup later this month, it was confirmed on Tuesday.
With the conclusion of the Dell Technologies Championship on Monday, the 10 automatic qualifiers for the two teams are confirmed for the Ryder Cup-style event to be held at Liberty National in New Jersey from September 28 to October 1.
US captain Steve Stricker and International skipper Nick Price will announce their two captain’s picks to complete their 12-man line-ups on Wednesday.
The powerful US challenge will be led by Johnson, with Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka all providing heavyweight support.
Daniel Berger, Kevin Kisner, Patrick Reed, Matt Kuchar and Kevin Chappell complete the 10 confirmed players in the US line-up.
Five US players are making their Presidents Cup debut this year — Thomas, Berger, Koepka, Kisner and Chappell.
Phil Mickelson, who has played in a record 11 Presidents Cup events, is among those who will be hoping for a wildcard from Stricker.
Matsuyama meanwhile heads a talented International team which draws players from Japan, Australia, South Africa, South Korea, Venezuela and Canada.
Jason Day leads the Australian contingent which includes Adam Scott and Marc Leishman.
South Africa is represented by Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Branden Grace, while Kim Si-Woo flies the flag for South Korea.
Jhonattan Vegas (Venezuela) and Canada’s Adam Hadwin complete the initial list.
Hadwin will be playing in the Presidents Cup for the first time, along with Kim and Vegas.
“It’s huge to make the International team; I’ve been speaking about the Presidents Cup all week that it’s been in the forefront of my mind,” Hadwin said. — AFP