Sun, 18 Aug 2019

Washington - Australia's most recent major winners, Jason Day and Adam Scott, will unite at this week's PGA New Orleans Classic with an eye toward a partnership at this year's Presidents Cup.

Scott, the 2013 Masters champion, and Day, the 2015 PGA Championship winner, will be among 80 pairs taking part in the unique duos event at TPC Louisiana.

The Aussies have only been paired once even though they have been teammates on the past four Internationals squads heading into the latest showdown against Tiger Woods-captained United States in December at Royal Melbourne.

"I think we're a hell of a team," Scott said. "I don't care who else is on the team and what team we're playing. I think who we play has to turn and take notice of us."

Rounds one and three at New Orleans will be four-ball (best-ball) format and rounds two and four are foursomes (alternate shot) with a cut to low 35 and ties for the weekend.

It will give Internationals captain Ernie Els of South Africa a good look at potential players as his lineup tries to trim a US edge of 10-1-1 in the all-time rivalry, although he called the Day and Scott pairing an "obvious choice."

"They could play together in December pretty easily," Els said. "Pretty solid pairing right there, so one of those days they could easily play together. Those two guys are on their game. They're two of the best players you'll ever see in the modern game."

Scott and Day have been used alongside others to try and spread the talent in past years, but the moment in Melbourne might make it happen.

"I've tried to push for it to happen more often, but there are a lot of different opinions and things to happen," Scott said. "You have to play as a team member and do what's best for the team, but I would definitely push for this pairing, certainly in Australia. I think it's very formidable."

Day is sixth in Presidents Cup qualifying, which continues through the US PGA Tour Championship. Scott ranks 11th.

"I've sat through a lot of Presidents Cup beatdowns over the years and I've kind of had enough of it," Scott said. "I'm prepared to do whatever it takes, whatever Ernie thinks it takes to kind of change the culture of our team.

"We're a long way out. The team is far from set, but trying to get as many guys here to play certainly might help Ernie later in the year.

"Certainly an effort has been made by a lot of guys here this week that want to do that, that feel the frustrations. I think probably Jason feels the same. So let's try and turn it around."

Day had some sympathy for past captains trying to pull together global players as a united front against Americans who now are nine of the world's 15 top-ranked players and 16 of the top 25.

"It's hard because you have the guys on the team, and there's certain players that don't gel together," Day said.

"This is a good opportunity to see where we're at with regards to the potential guys that are playing on the Presidents Cup and seeing how they play in tournament-like conditions like we're going to see down in Melbourne.

"Some guys aren't going to gel well together. Some guys are going to do really well. That's the learning curve of it."

Scott sees Els trying to develop a lasting culture around the team that can set the groundwork for improved results in the future.

"It's about starting to grow a culture amongst the international players and showing everyone who's coming up the importance of this tournament," Scott said. "Ernie has done all the right steps so far in kind of starting a new momentum amongst our international players, and hopefully that can continue on."

Other notable pairs this week include European Ryder Cup teammates Tommy Fleetwood of England and Sergio Garcia of Spain, Spaniard Jon Rahm with American Ryan Palmer and Americans Patrick Reed and Patrick Cantlay.

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