Davis excited by Presidents Cup chance

·3-min read

Cam Davis' surprise selection in the International team for this month's Presidents Cup looms as a chance to emerge from the shadow of world No.2-ranked countryman Cameron Smith.

Australian Davis was one of six captain's picks named by Trevor Immelman for the biennial contest with Team USA in North Carolina, starting September 20.

Despite putting his hand up, British Open champion Smith was ineligible to play after signing with PGA Tour rival LIV Golf, as was Marc Leishman.

Earning automatic qualification, veteran Australian Adam Scott will suit up for his 10th Presidents Cup still searching for his first team win.

World No.62 Davis, who won the Australian Open in 2017 and claimed his first PGA Tour win last year, said he wasn't confident about a call-up.

"It was a call that I can't say I was expecting," Davis told reporters.

"I was quietly hopeful ... I've been playing really consistent golf for the last four months or so now, and to be given an official spot last week from Trevor was unbelievable."

The Sydneysider said the team's enthusiasm and commitment hadn't been diminished by the unavailability of the likes of Smith and Chilean automatic qualifier Joaquin Niemann.

"To be honest we haven't really talked about it," he said.

"We have a team, we have 12 guys who are hungry and ready to go and we didn't let that really get into the team room at all.

"I know this is an opportunity for myself and those other guys to really push ourselves forward both with our careers and how we feel about ourselves as players."

In the 2019 tournament, played in December at Royal Melbourne, Smith, then world No.52, was the eighth-ranked International automatic selection.

In the Sunday singles matches he was pitted against then world No.5 Dustin Johnson and came up trumps 2 & 1.

While the Internationals fell achingly short again, the tournament seemed to fuel Smith's self belief with the Queenslander winning the Sony Open in Hawaii a month later and finishing runner-up to Johnson at the 2020 Masters to jump up the rankings.

Davis, 27, said he'd take plenty from playing in such an intense atmosphere at Quail Hollow Club where the Americans will start raging favourites.

I just feel like there's so many different ways that this can be a help for your career going forward," he said.

"Testing your game in that environment - guys compare a singles match as being more like a final round in a major just in terms of how many people, how loud, and the shot you hit, the reactions you get and just the pressure you feel.

"As someone who has not quite experienced that yet, I think that's a big situation to draw from.

"With a good week here, you can use that to help get over the line in many tournaments to come."

Colombia's Sebastian Munoz, Canadian Taylor Pendrith and South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout are also rookies with South Korea's Si Woo Kim the only captain's pick with past experience of the event.

Besides Scott the qualifiers are Japan's Hideki Matsuyama, Sungjae Im and Tom Kim of South Korea, Canada's Corey Conners and Mito Pereira of Chile.

Immelman admitted the absence of the LIV players was "disappointing" but said they made their choice.

"Every single player ... everybody involved knew exactly the situation we were in," the South African said.

"These are the 12 players that wanted to be eligible, wanted to be on the team. Those are the 12 that I want at the end of the day.

"If we're going to get into some really tough competition here in a couple weeks, I want the guys that are committed - and these are those guys."

With agencies