Pan, Ancer and Li make Presidents Cup history
August 18, 2019
By Cameron Morfit, PGATOUR.COM
Eight automatic qualifiers for International Presidents Cup team
MEDINAH, Ill. – Those who finished outside the Top 30 in the FedExCup weren’t the only ones suffering heartache at the BMW Championship at Medinah.
Tony Finau needed a solo third or better to make the U.S. Presidents Cup Team that will take on the Internationals at Royal Melbourne Dec. 12-15, but with a final-round 69, he got passed by Hideki Matsuyama (63) for third place. With his solo fourth, Finau was on the outside looking in and will need a pick from U.S. Captain Tiger Woods.
“A little bittersweet,” Finau said of the week. “I played nice. Few guys played better than me this week, and then I’m going to be outside the top eight for the Presidents Cup. I knew what I needed to do this week. I’m proud I gave myself a chance to do that.”
Meanwhile, Xander Schauffele (72, T19), Bryson DeChambeau (70, T48) and Patrick Cantlay (65, solo second) secured their first berths on the U.S. Team.
“Something I’ve learned is the more you can spend time with the best players in the world, the better your game can get if you draw on the right things,” Cantlay said at Medinah after closing the gap to two strokes through 10 holes before Justin Thomas pulled away on the back nine.
The last time Cantlay played a team golf event, he added, was the 2011 Walker Cup.
“I really love it and I’ve heard great things about Royal Melbourne,” he said.
Meanwhile, it was a big week for C.T. Pan (72, T31), who not only played the first two rounds of the BMW with Woods, he wound up seventh in the final International standings. Pan, of Chinese Taipei, will be a first-time Presidents Cup participant along with Abraham Ancer (70, T28), Haotong Li, and Cameron Smith.
Li is the first player to represent mainland China, Pan is the first to represent Chinese Taipei, and Ancer is the first to represent Mexico. Smith, who celebrated his birthday on Sunday, joins Marc Leishman and Adam Scott as Australians inside the top eight.
“Being able to lock down this spot, that means a lot to me,” Pan said.
Among those on the outside looking in at the automatic qualifiers for the International Team was Jason Day, whose final-round 74 left him with a T52 finish at the BMW.
Day will need a pick from International Captain Ernie Els to make it to Melbourne.
“I would say below average,” Day said, when asked to describe his season.
Among the Americans who failed to make the top eight were U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland and Phil Mickelson, who has played in every Presidents Cup since the first one in 1994. Although he won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am earlier this season, Mickelson has struggled of late, and a final-round 71 at Medinah left him with a T48 finish at the BMW.
Captains Woods and Els will make their final four picks to round out their rosters after the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions, Oct. 31-Nov. 3.
“I’ll play Korea and Napa,” Mickeson said. “… If I play well, I might try to add a couple in Asia to try to warrant a pick. If I’m not playing well, I probably won’t.”