Captain Price wants a Korean player, on merit

Thu Aug 6, 2015 12:58pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

AKRON, Ohio (Reuters) - South Korea will host the Presidents Cup in October and International captain Nick Price says he would dearly love to have a golfer from that country on his 12-man team, as long as that player gets in on merit.

Price will also be keeping a close eye on South African veteran Ernie Els over the coming weeks as he looks at the likely contenders for what is shaping up to be a relatively inexperienced lineup to take on holders the United States.

"It would be very important, just from a local interest point of view, to have a Korean player on my team," Zimbabwean Price, 58, told Reuters during this week's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club.

"It's fine having (Korean) K.J. Choi as my non-playing vice-captain but we really need a Korean player on the team.

"However, I'm not going to pick someone just for the sake of it. He is going to have play his way on to the team, and I have made that quite clear from the start."

The leading 10 players in the Internationals points standings after the Deutsche Bank Championship ends on Sept. 7 will automatically qualify for the Presidents Cup. Price will then add his two captain's picks.

As of this week, there are two South Korean players in the top 25 in the standings with An Byeong-hun at 11th and Bae Sang-moon at 25th while Korea-born New Zealander Danny Lee is 13th.

"The one thing about Sang-moon, who now has to go and do his military service, he has won on that golf course where we are playing, at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club there in Songdo," said Price. "So he is a guy that I have really got to look hard at."   Continued...

International captain Nick Price, of Zimbabwe, speaks at a press conference at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio October 1, 2013. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes/Files