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Davis Love says overconfidence won’t be a major concern when his much-loved American side take on the Internationals in two weeks’ time at the Presidents Cup.
On Wednesday, Love named multiple big winners Collin Morikawa and Jordan Spieth among his six USA captain picks, rounding out a powerhouse roster led by top Masters champion Scottie Scheffler.
The Americans, with an 11-1-1 lead in the all-time rivalry and an eight-game winning streak, will face a 12-man international team in games Sept. 22-25 at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, Carolina. North.
The final line-up includes seven members of the USA team that beat Europe 19-9 in last year’s Ryder Cup, inflicting the most lopsided defeat since Continental players joined a British and Irish line-up.
Captain Trevor Immelman’s Internationals have been hurt by the inability to include players who have defected from the US PGA Tour to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series.
They lost British Open champion, Australian Cameron Smith, along with a handful of other big names.
But Love got rid of any notion of American complacency and overconfidence.
“You call (sports psychologist) Dr. Bob Rotella often over the next two weeks and make sure you have a messaging game plan,” Love said.
“It will always be this stadium, the first tee, the American flags, the United States. They want to win for this team.
“I don’t think we’re going to have to do a lot of messaging or motivation. And we know we’ll face it. Trevor will have a team with a chip on his shoulder. These guys aren’t going to take it lying down .”
American dominance over the non-European roster is helping, but only so far, Love warned.
“We’re leaving with confidence,” Love said. “We have to take it seriously and prepare ourselves.”
The American players who qualified on points included Scheffler, two-time PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas, Tokyo Olympic champion Xander Schauffele as well as Patrick Cantlay, Sam Burns and Tony Finau.
Joining them as Love’s American picks are three-time major winner Spieth, two-time major champion Morikawa, Max Homa, Cam Young, Kevin Kisner and Billy Horschel.
“We have veterans in there and guys who played in the Ryder Cup,” Love said. “I’m excited about this 12 and ready to go.”
With an average age of 29.6, this will be the youngest Presidents Cup team ever created for the United States.
Spieth is making his fourth Presidents Cup appearance and Kisner his second, but the other four captains’ picks are rookies, as are Burns and Scheffler.
“We have a lot of players who can play well with a rookie,” Love said.
Schauffele, Scheffler, Spieth, Finau, Cantlay, Thomas and Morikawa are back in red, white and blue after last year’s Ryder Cup.
The Americans lost ninth-ranked Will Zalatoris to a back injury and lost Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka from that Ryder Cup team after the trio jumped to LIV Golf, resulting in wreaked havoc and recorded $25 million purses to attract top talent, prompting indefinite bans from the PGA.
Among those the Internationals lost were 19th-placed Chilean Joaquin Niemann, Mexicans Abraham Ancer and Carlos Ortiz, Australian Marc Leishman and South Africans Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace.
Immelman completed his training by making the captain’s picks on Tuesday as a record five Asian players made the roster, led by 2021 Masters champion and 16th-ranked Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama.
The South Korean Opens include Im Sung-jae, Kim Joo-hyung, Kim Si-woo and Lee Kyoung-hoon.
The team also includes Canadians Corey Conners and Taylor Pendrith, Australians Adam Scott and Cam Davis, Colombian Sebastian Munoz, Chilean Mito Pereira and South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout.