Marc Leishman mows the lawn of the MCG ahead of the 2019 Presidents Cup, at Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 2 2019. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ KELLY DEFINA
Marc Leishman mows the lawn of the MCG ahead of the 2019 Presidents Cup, at Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 2 2019. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ KELLY DEFINA

Sydney — The International team that will tee off at the Presidents Cup next week are “like 12 brothers” who have a real shot at ending the US dominance of the event, Louis Oosthuizen said on Tuesday.

The 2010 British Open champion will be competing in his fourth edition of the biennial match-play showdown, heading to Royal Melbourne as one of the more experienced campaigners.

Skipper Ernie Els has seven rookies in his 12-man team that will face a powerful US outfit led by playing captain Tiger Woods, but Oosthuizen said they are up for the challenge.

“It’s a very unique set up, the President’s Cup,” he said in Sydney ahead of the Australian Open this week, where a handful of the International team are playing, including Adam Scott, Marc Leishman and Els.

“Everyone always says that we don’t have team spirit or don’t have enough. I can promise you, when Thursday [next week] comes, we’re like 12 brothers in that team. We’ve bonded, we’re ready to go, we want to win, we’ve got the same energy and just want to get the tournament done.”

Oosthuizen likened the Presidents Cup camaraderie to the Ryder Cup, played between Europe and the US, and said it will be essential to muster that type of team spirit in Melbourne.

“I think the history with the Ryder Cup, there is a lot more in there, and that’s why you always see the guys a little bit more pumped and we need that,” he said. “We need that in the President’s Cup. I think the only way to get that is if the Internationals win.

“We need to get our name on the trophy again and show the Americans we’re here to play. We’re here to win the trophy, to win the Cup and not just show up to just have a good week.”

The Internationals have won only once in the event’s 25-year history, in Melbourne in 1998, and Oosthuizen said they would never have a better chance to do it again.

Els knows the venue well and holds the course record 12-under-par 60, while Scott, who has played in eight President’s Cups, also has an intimate knowledge of Royal Melbourne.

“I think we all sort of feel Royal Melbourne is the place we’ve got probably the best shot,” said Oosthuizen.

“We’ve got a team that’s really in form. We’ve got a young side coming through. I think having an Aussie crowd behind us, playing Royal Melbourne especially, it will be the best home course advantage we can have.”

AFP