MELBOURNE, Australia – Flanked by three South Koreans, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem confirmed on Wednesday that the circuit plans to play the 2015 Presidents Cup in South Korea.
It is a sign of the times that the Tour bypassed an opportunity to hold the matches in South America as a tune-up to the 2016 Olympics in Brazil and instead went with South Korea, a quickly-developing golf nation.
“The players on the International team, in coming together and being able to compete against the United States team, want the Cup to be staged at a place where it could be considered a home-court game, if you will,” said Finchem, who was joined by the three South Korean members of this week’s International team, K.J. Choi, Y.E. Yang and K.T. Kim.
“Now, with three of the members of the International team coming from Korea, certainly Korea qualifies in that regard.”
No golf course has been selected to host the ’15 matches, but Finchem said he expects to have a venue in place by early next year and the Tour is considering “a few” courses that could serve as host.
Prior to this week just three of the eight Presidents Cups have been played outside the United States, but Wednesday’s announcement reinforces South Korea’s growing statue in the game behind the success of Choi and Yang.
“I don't doubt at all that this is going to improve the golf market and the golf culture in Korea,” Yang said.
As for a Presidents Cup in South America, Finchem said the Tour considered playing the ’15 matches in the area, but instead will focus on bringing a regular, full-field Tour event to the area before the ’16 Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
“No firm decision has been made on that, but that's been more of our focus,” Finchem said.
The 2013 Presidents Cup will be played at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio.
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