The sands of the 2022 Presidents Cup hourglass are running down as just three weeks remain before International Captain Trevor Immelmann has his team.
The countdown will conclude after the BMW Championship at Wilmington Country Club. The International team uses a points list that operates similar to the world rankings. The top eight automatically qualify, then Immelmann picks the final four to round out the dozen who will play at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, in late September.
The International squad will likely be depleted by the loss of Louis Oosthuizen, Branden Grace, Charl Schwartzel, Matt Jones, Carlos Ortiz and Abraham Ancer to LIV Golf, so Immelmann finds himself behind the proverbial 8-ball.
The qualifying system is skewed toward players who make their primary home on the PGA Tour. Only South African Richard Sterne in 2013 made the without a PGA Tour membership.
New Zealander Ryan Fox could be the second non-PGA Tour member to make a Presidents Cup team in its 26-year history. Fox currently sits 13th on the International points list.
Fox remembers watching his first Cup at Royal Melbourne in 1998, ironically the only win by the Internationals, a 20.5-11.5 drubbing. It was also a team that had two New Zealanders as captain’s picks — Frank Nobilo and Greg Turner.
“It's something I'd love to get in,” says Fox after finishing a distant 22nd in the Hero Open last week on the DP World Tour. “I've probably let a little bit of a chance slip. Obviously there were some ranking points up for grabs to push my way forward, but we'll see what happens.”
If world ranking was the guide versus the International points list, Fox would be the ninth-highest international player, and while that still would not get him in automatically, it would create a stronger case for the 35-year-old to play in his first Presidents Cup.
“For the majority of this year, I’ve given myself a chance, and I guess that's all you can really ask for, to be honest,” says Fox about a season that includes a win at The Ras Al Khaimah Classic in the UAE and three additional top-three finishes. “I still would need a pick from Trevor to get in. But, you know, I feel like at least I've got my name in the hat, which is a nice place to be."
Immelmann agrees, stating in a text message to Sports Illustrated that Fox is absolutely in the conversation.
He's skipping the Cazoo Open in Wales this week on the DP World Tour, and Fox won't earn many points at upcoming the ISPS Handa World Invitational and the D+D Real Czech Masters, as both have weak fields, equating to low world ranking points.
“I guess this is probably my best chance of qualifying this year with a few of those guys out and being a relatively young team,” says Fox of the LIV players left out of the selection. “I haven't played well enough quite to get an automatic selection, but at least I'll put my name in the mix to get one of those captain's picks.”