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How Trevor Immelman is hyping up his underdog International squad

Trevor Immelman’s message to his International team Monday night was as nuanced as it was inspired.

Borrowing a page from the European Ryder Cup team playbook, the International captain set the stage with some history. Although the Presidents Cup is relatively new, having started in 1994, the South African identified each player and vice-captain by a number based on the players, captains and vice captains that came before them.

For example, Adam Scott is No. 31 on the International side’s legacy, only slightly behind No. 28 Mike Weir, a vice captain for this year’s team, as the most-tenured teamed member at Quail Hollow Club.

Immelman’s message also had some apropos imagery, pointing out that the matches are being played in North Carolina where the Wright brothers invented flight.

“Why can’t we fly?” he told his team. “Why can’t we win?”

Keeping with the flying theme, Immelman’s gift to his team was Rolex Air-King watches, which are specifically designed for pilots.

“He certainly showed how much work he’s put into this and how much meaning it has to him and how deep he has gone into thinking about what he can give us as an opportunity and experience this week,” said Scott, in his 10th competition. “He’s gone further than anyone has gone before. Just from his speech, you could tell he’s thought a lot about what he wants out of us this week.”