Ernie Els has named Jason Day, Adam Hadwin, Sungjae Im and Joaquin Niemann as his four captain's picks in his International Presidents Cup team for their clash against Tiger Woods' United States side from December 12 to 15.
Els, 50, announced his picks on Wednesday evening to round out the youngest ever International Presidents Cup team in history. The South African's lineup comprises six rookies.
“I didn’t go looking for Joaquin who is 20, or Sungjae who is 21, but they made themselves a lock on this team,” said Els.
“I definitely wasn’t that good at 20, 21, but these guys are world-class players and they’ve proven themselves. I’m excited by the new blood that’s coming in.”
Day, 31, was really no surprise given his former World No.1 status and recent victory in the Japan Skins match when defeating Woods and Rory McIlroy, while Hadwin, 32, had been showing some decent form of late with two top-four finishes in his last four starts on Tour.
Niemann, 20, won his maiden PGA Tour title in his rookie season two months ago at The Greenbrier, while Im, 21, was named PGA Tour Rookie of the Year last season following a number of impressive finishes despite not winning.
“I think we’re going to bring a lot of energy. It’s going to be nice for us to grow up as a player,” said Niemann.
Day will make his fifth appearance in the Presidents Cup, and second on home soil at Royal Melbourne, but his record does not read particularly well at 5-11-4 (W-L-H).
Then again, the United States have won 10 of the 12 Presidents Cup matches, with the Internationals winning just once - at Royal Melbourne - in 1998.
But claims his International side, and Day in particular, are out to set the record straight this December.
"I’ve spoken to Jason through the year quite a few times and he absolutely is 100% in," said Els.
"He wants to rectify a lot of things, but I told him this isn’t a one-man-show. He’s a world-class player and a player who can play under pressure. That’s what we need, players who can play under pressure."
Els also revealed that the event will start with fourballs on the Thursday morning.