It's been a nightmare start for the International Team at this weekend's Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow.
Trevor Immelman's charges trailed 4-1 after day 1. Defeating a strong American team was always going to be a challenge. Doing so without the international players contracted to LIV Tour, especially Australian Cam Smith, made it close to impossible.
Immelman has discussed how the LIV Tour has impacted preparations for the President's Cup, as USA raced into an expected dominant lead.
The game has been overshadowed this year by the LIV Golf, a rival tour that has been funded by the Saudi Arabia investment fund, a country that has been under the spotlight for it’s horrific human rights record, particularly towards minority groups.
The amount of high profile players who have left the PGA Tour to participate in this controversial tour has split the sporting world. While the likes of Shane Lowry and Rory McIlroy have made their stance clear on why they wouldn’t join from the beginning, the likes of Graeme McDowell, Sergio Garcia and Brooks Koepka have jumped ship for a big pay day.
In a way to sanction those who have joined the LIV Tour, those who have joined are suspended from PGA Tour, which includes the ongoing Presidents Cup.
The tournament has been hugely impacted by the LIV Tour, with captain of the international team Trevor Immelman hit the hardest.
The former masters winner has been unable to select the likes of Cameron Smith, Joaquin Niemann, Brandan Grace and Charl Schwartzel.
Speaking on the Drop Zone podcast, Immelman spoke on the difficulties this has caused for his team.
“It’s been tough, it’s been really tough. I’m thankful that all those players in question were open and honest in exactly where they stood, and where in the process they were.
I probably knew more than the general public out there, but still none the less, it was hard to keep my mouth shut at times. It was tough as I was trying to figure out how I was going to make adjustments for the situation we were going to be in.
You can’t dwell on where we could’ve been. You can’t dwell on the players that are leaving.
We are in this situation now. How can I find the best way around this, to put the collective and international team in the best possible spot they can be?”
Despite the disruption this has caused to the golfing world, Greg Norman, CEO of the LIV Tour is still sending out tone deaf tweets on the competition.
However you'll find Immelman's reply to Norman's good luck tweet hit the bullseye.
— Trevor Immelman (@TrevorImmelman) September 23, 2022