Matt Smith
With the depleted International team facing another Presidents Cup thrashing at the hands of the US at Quail Hollow this weekend, visiting captain Trevor Immelman allowed himself a chuckle after receiving well-wishes from LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman.

The rest-of-the-world side are 8-2 down after the opening two days, and are struggling as LIV Golf players are ineligible to compete in the PGA Tour-ran Presidents Cup due to a ban.

Players absent include Australian Open Champion Cameron Smith and Norman tweeted a good-luck message to the Internationals, with Immelman replying with a simple: “LOL.”

The International team has only beaten the US once in 13 previous Presidents Cups, with Norman leading them to their only victory in 1998.

“Outside of all this angst, golf is golf, competition is competition; something every golfer thrives on,” he wrote on Twitter.

“As a former player and captain of the International Team, I wish Trevor Immelman and his entire team the very best in repeating our only 1998 Presidents Cup success in Melbourne.”

Immelman added in response: “I’m an extremely open and honest person. I pretty much say it exactly as I’m thinking it. What I said was exactly what I was doing when I read that tweet. I was laughing out loud.”

Other international stars missing from the biennial invent include Chilean Joaquin Niemann, Mexico’s Abraham Ancer, South African Louis Oosthuizen and Smith’s fellow Australian Marc Leishman, and Immelman has handed eight players debuts as a result.

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