— Presidents Cup International Team (@IntlTeam) September 6, 2022
For the first time in Presidents Cup history, the International team will have more than one Canadian in the lineup when it’s played at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, N.C.
Canada’s Taylor Pendrith was named on Tuesday by captain Trevor Immelman. Corey Conners was already on the team as an automatic selection.
Pendrith was named to the team after a rookie season in which he had three top-10 finishes in 21 PGA Tour events. His season was cut short by a fractured rib at the Players Championship, where he tied for 13th, that kept him out of action for four months.
When he returned, Pendrith had five top-13 finishes in six events, including a second-place finish at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit at the end of July.
“Taylor really, in the last couple months, burst on to the scene, quite honestly,” said Immelman, adding that Pendrith attended several International team get-togethers before actually being named and was always on his radar until his rib injury.
“He sort of disappeared off of our radar a little bit because we weren’t quite sure how he was going to come back, but turns out, when he came back, he played some unbelievable golf,” added Immelman.
Pendrith, renowned for his power, finished 10th on the PGA Tour in driving distance with a 316.1-yard average. The tour average this year was 299.8 yards.
Immelman sees Pendrith’s bombs as being an advantage, specifically where at Quail Hollow.
“This is what we went with. We feel like Taylor’s distance off of the tee and the fact that he’s one of the best drivers of the ball really does give him a huge advantage,” said Immelman.
Another advantage for Pendrith could be that Conners is a longtime buddy. They have played together extensively over the years and roomed together in college when they were at Kent State.
That connection could be an important consideration for Immelman as he makes his decisions on who is playing with who in team play at the Presidents Cup.
“It absolutely is an option,” said Immelman.
“I know exactly how close they are, that they were roommates in college, that Taylor actually spent some time living with Corey down in West Palm Beach over the last couple years, so they’re great friends and have awesome camaraderie,” he said.
“Over the last three or four years, one of the hurdles that our team has finally started to overcome is we’re at a point now to where we don’t have to match people of the same nationality to get the best out of them,” he added.
“We’ve got the squad atmosphere over the last four or five years. Players are extremely comfortable being with each other, hanging around each other. We have found ways to bridge the communication gaps in certain instances,” said Immelman.
“Really I have every option available to me. I don’t have to try and match two Canadians together and Koreans together and such. Whilst it is an option, I would not hang your hat on it,” he said, adding that Pendrith wasn’t the only Canadian on the radar.
“The other two guys, Mac Hughes and Adam Hadwin, they were on the short list for sure, two guys that I have a great amount of respect for,” said Immelman.
“Hadwin has played a couple Presidents Cups, so he had that as a little bit of an edge in our decision-making process. Mac Hughes also a great putter, lives in Charlotte, so those were his advantages,” he said.
“At the end of the day, we had to try and find a way to blend different things together, whether it be through team chemistry, whether it be through matchups with the golf course and how we believe the golf course is going to be set up,” he added.