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Verplank & Hensby secure President's Cup spots

American Scott Verplank and Australia's Mark Hensby held on to the final spots to earn automatic selection for this year's Presidents Cup team competition after the 87th U.S. PGA Championship on Monday.

The 41-year-old Verplank, who tied for 34th with a final-round 71 at Baltusrol Golf Club, held off the challenge of Zach Johnson to qualify as the 10th player in the U.S. standings.

Johnson, who started the week in 11th place, stayed there despite tying for 17th in the U.S. PGA Championship with a closing 69 on Sunday.

The 34-year-old Hensby, who finished in a share of 59th place in the year's final major, gets in as the 10th automatic member of the International side for the September 23-25 event.

The sixth edition of the biennial Presidents Cup, which pits a team from the U.S. against a 12-man line-up of international players from nations outside Europe, will be staged at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Lake Manassas, Virginia.

Non-playing captains Jack Nicklaus of the U.S. and Gary Player of the Internationals will each add two wildcard selections in a teleconference later on Monday.

The U.S. line-up for next month's showdown comprises: world number one Tiger Woods, U.S. PGA champion Phil Mickelson, David Toms, Kenny Perry, Chris DiMarco, Jim Furyk, Fred Funk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III and Verplank.

The International side is: Vijay Singh, Retief Goosen, Adam Scott, Angel Cabrera, Tim Clark, U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell, Stuart Appleby, Mike Weir, Nick O'Hern and Hensby.

The Internationals will be without world number four Ernie Els, who is out of action for the rest of the year after suffering a knee injury on a sailing holiday in the Mediterranean last month.

The U.S. won three of the first five Presidents Cups, including a 21-1/2 to 10-1/2 victory in 2000, the last time the event was held at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club.

The International team were victorious in 1998 when the competition was held at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Melbourne, Australia. The last match, played in South Africa in 2003, ended in a tie.

 

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