(Reuters) - The assistants for this year’s Presidents Cup in South Korea were finalised on Wednesday with Internationals captain Nick Price opting for continuity and his United States counterpart Jay Haas turning to experience.
Price, whose Internationals were beaten by 18-1/2 points to 15-1/2 at Muirfield Village in 2013, named fellow Zimbabweans Mark McNulty and Tony Johnstone as his assistants while Haas chose next year’s U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III.
McNulty and Johnstone, who both assisted Price at Muirfield Village, will join Korean K.J. Choi to complete the Internationals leadership team.
Love will round out the U.S. backroom staff, with his long-time friend and three-time Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples having previously been appointed by Haas as an assistant.
“Jay and I were successful as assistants for the last Presidents Cup in 2013, and I am very excited to join him and the U.S. team in South Korea this fall,” Love, who was U.S. Ryder Cup captain at Medinah in 2012, said in a statement.
“I love being in the team room and positively impacting the U.S. side anyway I can.”
Haas, who takes over a U.S. team that won the last three editions of the biennial competition under the captaincy of Couples, said: ”Having Davis back as an assistant is a huge positive and makes a lot of sense.
“He has vast experience that we can call upon. He will be my eyes and ears out on the PGA Tour, which will be invaluable.”
Price, whose Internationals face a daunting task in trying to reverse a run of eight defeats in just 10 editions of the Presidents Cup, was delighted to bring back McNulty and Johnstone as his assistants.
“(We) have known each other since childhood, playing with and competing against each other at junior tournaments and becoming great friends away from the golf course over the last 40 years or so,” former world number one Price said.
“Tony and Mark immersed themselves in their roles in the year leading up to the 2013 Presidents Cup ... it was an easy choice for me to ask them to return as assistant captains again.”
The President Cup, being played this year for the first time in Asia, will be held at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon from Oct. 8-11.
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue