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LIV Golf secured the services of some high-profile players this week, who would have otherwise been playing in the Presidents Cup.

The match between the International and USA team will take place at Quail Hollow on September 20-25, with 12 players from each side in action.

The International team announced their eight qualifiers on August 21, but there’s a clear issue.

• LIV stars banned from Wentworth pro-am

As the Presidents Cup is a PGA Tour event, Cameron Smith and Joaquin Niemann will both become ineligible when they tee it up in LIV Golf’s Boston event this weekend, leaving International captain Trevor Immelman with two more picks for his side. 

The loss of Marc Leishman and Anirban Lahiri is also significant for Immelman, with both players potentially in the captain’s thoughts before their move to LIV Golf.

• Date set in LIV/DP World Tour court battle

These defections compound the 2008 Masters champion’s troubles, with former Presidents Cup players Louis Oosthuizen, Abraham Ancer, Branden Grace and Charl Schwartzel already plying their trade on the Saudi-funded circuit. 

This change will now effectively bring the International team in line with Davis Love III’s USA team, with six automatic qualifiers and six captain’s picks.

Here’s who has automatically qualified for each team so far:


Scottie Scheffler

Patrick Cantlay

Xander Schauffele

Sam Burns

Justin Thomas

Tony Finau 


Hideki Matsuyama

Sungjae Im

Tom Kim

Corey Conners

Adam Scott

Mito Pereira

Immelman will announce his captain’s picks on September 6, and he faces tough choices. K.H Lee narrowly missed out on automatic qualification, as did Erik Van Rooyen. However, the South African is currently injured, and is unlikely to be available to play.

• OFFICIAL: Cameron Smith joins LIV Golf

Sebastian Munoz, Adam Hadwin, Ryan Fox and Mackenzie Hughes were also handily placed in the qualification standings, and will certainly be considered by Immelman. 

Further down the standings, Cam Davis and Min Woo Lee could be viable options, while he may look to Haotong Li who played in the event last year.

Meanwhile, Davis Love III also has decisions to make, although they might not be as tough as his International counterpart. 

• Immelman: LIV is a “giant pain in my ass”

Will Zalatoris would have been a part of his team, had it not been for a back injury  that ruled him out from the event. 

From the most recent announcement of LIV players, only Harold Varner III and Cameron Tringale would have been available for selection for the USA team, but it’s unlikely either would have been in line for a captain’s pick.

Love still has the services of Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa, Max Homa and Open runner-up Cameron Young to call upon, alongside the six players all ranked inside the world’s top 14 who have already qualified.

In 2019, the last edition of the event, the USA side pulled off an impressive final-day comeback to win 16-14. 

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Lewis Fraser As bunkered’s Performance Editor, Lewis oversees the content that’s designed to make you a better player. From the latest gear to tuition, nutrition, strategy and more, he’s the man. A graduate of the University of Stirling, Lewis joined bunkered in 2021. Formerly a caddie at Castle Stuart Golf Links, he is a member of Bathgate Golf Club where he plays off four.

Performance Editor

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