Rory McIlroy, a three-time winner at Quail Hollow, jokes: I’m available for Internationals

Rory McIlroy, a three-time winner at Quail Hollow, jokes: I’m available for Internationals
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VIRGINIA WATER, England – International Presidents Cup captain Trevor Immelman conceded Tuesday that the process of narrowing his team down to a dozen players has been “pretty frustrating” as the defections to LIV Golf have mounted.

Prior to Tuesday’s captain’s picks, Cameron Smith, Marc Leishman and Joaquin Niemann were all locks to play the matches later this month, with Smith and Niemann qualifying automatically and Leishman a likely pick. Last week, all three players joined LIV and were suspended from playing PGA Tour-sanctioned events. That follows the loss of possible International team members Louis Oosthuizen, Branden Grace, Abe Ancer and Carlos Ortiz to the Saudi-backed league earlier this year.

Instead, Immelman selected five rookies with his six captain’s picks, which was not ideal and led to at least one interesting conversation with Rory McIlroy, who was asked Tuesday at the BMW PGA Championship if he would consider playing for the International team.

“One hundred percent. It’s at Quail Hollow. Have you seen me play Quail Hollow? I’d love to play,” laughed McIlroy, who has won three PGA Tour events staged at the course.

“Actually, I said that to Trevor many times. Trevor and I have even had some chats recently because a couple of his team have decided not to play for him, so I said to him, ‘I’m available if you can get me in. I’m sure there might be some Australian or some South African in me somewhere.’”

McIlroy, of course, cannot participate in the Presidents Cup as it pits a team of Americans against a team of non-Europeans (rest of the world). The Northern Irishman will just have to wait for the Wells Fargo Championship to return to Quail Hollow in May.

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