October 2, 2017 / 3:21 AM / 10 months ago

Golf: Time for change says Els, as Internationals look to 2019

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (Reuters) - After a humbling seventh successive Presidents Cup loss to the United States on Sunday it’s back to the drawing board, according to Ernie Els, the man expected to be the next International team captain.

September 27, 2017; Jersey City, NJ, USA; International Team assistant captain Ernie Els addresses the media in a press conference during the practice round of The Presidents Cup golf tournament at Liberty National Golf Course. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

With 12 Presidents Cups having produced a single win for the Internationals, in 1998 in Melbourne, and a draw in 2003, change would seem long overdue.

That need was highlighted at Liberty National where a young U.S. team dominated the competition and came within one point of clinching the trophy inside the first three days as the Internationals managed just two match wins.

Els, who acted as one of Nick Price’s assistant captains, was not shy about expressing a need for change, particularly when it comes to the role of the PGA Tour, which chooses venues, team selection criteria and even the naming of captains.

Both outgoing captain Price and Els would like to have a greater say in how their squad is assembled along with tweaks to the current format.

Unable to match the depth of the U.S., Els suggested fewer players and matches might help level the playing field.

“I think we can go back to the drawing board with the Tour,” said Els. “Obviously playing for less points, I still say would benefit us.

“We’re playing a very deep American side, and I think less points for us.

“We play these team events every second year and the U.S. team plays every year. So they are a little bit more, I don’t want to say prepared.

“I think to put pairings together with a very diverse group as we have, is our challenge.

“So I think less matches, less points, will be definitely beneficial to us, but we’ll wait and see, see where we go with the Tour.”

Editing by Greg Stutchbury

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