South African Trevor Immelman has been named International Team Captain for the 2021 Presidents Cup, to be played at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The 2008 Masters Champion served as a captain’s assistant under countryman Ernie Els at the 2019 Presidents Cup, which saw the International Team build its biggest lead in Presidents Cup history before falling to a Tiger Woods-led US Team, 16-14.
“In 2005, I played in my first Presidents Cup under Captain Gary Player, which was an experience as a 25-year-old, I will never forget. Shortly after, I earned my first PGA Tour victory in 2006, so you could say the Presidents Cup was a huge part of launching my PGA Tour career,” Immelman said.“Being a captain now is an amazing honour.
“The Presidents Cup and the PGA Tour have been a massive part of my career, and so for me to now lead the International Team is something that is going to be one of the highlights of my career and something that am extremely excited about.”
Immelman is a two-time Presidents Cup competitor (2005, 2007) and owns two PGA Tour titles and 11 worldwide victories including the 2008 Masters Tournament.
Adam Scott, who made a record ninth Cup appearance at Royal Melbourne, said: “Trevor will bring a lot of great insights and value into our team’s preparation due to his wealth in experience as both a player, a captain’s assistant and broadcaster.
“He certainly played a big role in our team’s amazing fight against the Americans last year and I’m sure he will be a fantastic leader when we head to Quail Hollow Club. Trevor worked closely with Ernie, who was a phenomenal captain and established a new template for our team.
“I see Trevor embracing the momentum from Melbourne and making the International team stronger heading into Charlotte. I’ll be doing everything I can to be part of his team next year.”
Marc Leishman added: “To play for Trevor will be another huge goal. He’s one of the most positive people I’ve ever met and he’s going to be a great captain. I just want to play good and do everything that I can to be on the team next year and be a leader again.
“Ernie did a great job and hopefully we’ll get an overflow from all the positive vibes we had from Royal Melbourne for Trevor to carry on from there. Trevor should be really proud to be made our captain and we’ll work our butts off to make him a winner and to make us winners.”
Cameron Smith, who made his Presidents Cup debut last December, said: “We came really close under Ernie’s captaincy and I see Trevor creating the same kind of impact in our team. I also like the fact there will be continuity as Trevor was an instrumental member in Ernie’s backroom team.
“Whenever Trevor has anything to say in the team room, all of us will certainly sit up and listen carefully as he’s got so much knowledge and insights in the game. Hopefully, I will continue to play well to get into the International Team.”
Immelman is the seventh International Team Captain (Ernie Els – 2019; Nick Price – 2017, 2015, 2013; Greg Norman – 2011, 2009; Gary Player – 2007, 2005, 2003; Peter Thomson– 2000, 1998, 1996; David Graham – 1994) and third South African to helm the Internationals, joining Els and Player. Immelman, who will be 41 years old at the time of the competition, will be the youngest International Team Captain in Presidents Cup history.
“I think it will add a slightly different dynamic being the youngest captain, but that trend really started in Melbourne, with Tiger and Ernie, who were still competing in their own right,” Immelman said.
“I imagine our team will eventually be comprised of a combination of guys that I have played a lot with over the years and youngsters that I’ve followed and studied due to my broadcasting career. One thing that I know for sure is that our team will come together as one unit, have a blast and give it our absolute best.”
In 2017, Immelman had his first experience as a captain during the first-ever Junior Presidents Cup, where he led the International Team in the new junior competition.
He then served as one of four captain’s assistants for Els at the 2019 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne alongside K.J. Choi, Geoff Ogilvy and Mike Weir.
“My relationship with Trevor goes way back and I have always had the utmost respect for him as a player and a person,” Ernie Els said. “Trevor was an invaluable member of our team and completely bought into what we were trying to do at Royal Melbourne, so it is gratifying to see him take this next step and lead the International Team.”
Immelman will look to maintain the momentum following Els’ captaincy.
“Ernie found a way to make all the right moves once we got down to Australia, to make guys feel comfortable in the team environment and comfortable in their own skin to where they could really go out there and compete,” Immelman said.
“And he gave our team an identity, something we could grab on to. I think that is going to be his legacy moving forward, and it'll be up to me and the rest of our leadership team in years to come to continue from that platform.”
The US Team Captain will be announced at a later date.