(ATTN: ADDS comments in paras 8-11; FIXES details in para 12)
By Yoo Jee-ho
SEOUL, Sept. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korean golfers Lee Kyoung-hoon and Kim Si-woo were named captain's selections for the Presidents Cup on Tuesday, set to join two countrymen at the biennial global team competition between the United States and a team of non-European international players.
International Team's captain, Trevor Immelman, chose Lee and Kim two of his six additional picks on Tuesday. This year's President Cup will take place at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, from Sept. 22 to 25.
Lee is a two-time PGA Tour winner. Both of his titles have come at the AT&T Byron Nelson: he first won it in 2021 and defended that title this year. He will be making his Presidents Cup debut.
Kim has three PGA Tour titles so far, the biggest being The Players Championship victory in 2017. He also played at the Presidents Cup that year.
The top eight players in the International Team standings as of Aug. 21 earned automatic spots, with two South Koreans, Im Sung-jae (No. 3) and Kim Joo-hyung (No. 5), making the squad. Lee finished ninth in the standings while Kim was 20th.
The quartet will represent the largest South Korean contingent at a Presidents Cup. The country had three players in action in 2011.
Im tied for the International Team lead with 3 1/2 points in a 16-14 loss in 2019 in his first appearance. Kim Joo-hyung is a rookie.
At an online press conference with the Korean media Tuesday, Lee said he was "honored" to play at the Presidents Cup for the first time.
"I remember watching the Presidents Cup as a junior player, and thinking to myself how exciting it'd be to be playing on the International Team," Lee said. "It'll be great to have so many Korean players. We will be having so much fun."
Kim said he was "proud" to be part of the historic Korean delegation.
"We know each other so well and I think we can all make great tandems," Kim said. "When I first played in 2017, I was the only Korean player and I felt lonely on the course at times. I'm looking forward to speaking the same language with my teammates."
Two of the original eight, Cameron Smith of Australia and Joaquin Niemann of Chile, have since defected for the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf. They are no longer eligible for the Presidents Cup, which is run by the PGA Tour. Immelman would normally have needed to make just four additional picks but ended up making six choices.
For this year, four other automatic qualifiers for the International Team are: Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, Corey Conners of Canada, Mito Pereira of Chile and Adam Scott of Australia. The captain's picks in addition to Lee and Kim are: Christiaan Bezuidenhout of South Africa, Cam Davis of Australia, Sebastian Munoz of Colombia and Taylor Pendrith of Canada.
The Presidents Cup was first contested in 1994 and this will be the 14th edition. The U.S. has dominated the International Team, recording 11 wins, one loss and one tie so far. The Americans have won every Presidents Cup since 2005.