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Tour News (posted 4th November 1998)

Lee Janzen misses out on Presidents Cup team


Melbourne, Australia - Two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen has been left out of the United States team chosen to play an international side in next month's Presidents Cup golf tournament.

Janzen, 33, was among a number of high-profile Americans who failed to win a place in the team event between the best 12 players from the United States and the rest of the world excluding Europe.

The third edition of the Presidents Cup will take place at Royal Melbourne in Australia between 11th - 13th December. It is the first time the Ryder Cup-style match is to be played outside the U.S.

The top 10 American money earners on this year's U.S. PGA Tour qualified automatically for the team while the remaining two were selected by U.S. non-playing captain Jack Nicklaus.

Nicklaus, speaking on Wednesday, announced he had chosen Fred Couples and John Huston after they finished 11th and 12th on the end of season list.

David Duval, Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, Justin Leonard, Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III, Mark O'Meara, Hal Sutton, Scott Hoch and Mark Calcavecchia claimed the automatic berths.

Nicklaus said it was difficult to omit Janzen, who finished 22nd on the list, but pointed out that a number of top players including Tom Watson, Payne Stewart, John Cook and John Daly had also missed out.

"I knew Lee hadn't been playing well lately but I still would have liked to have him on the team," Nicklaus said.

"He's the U.S. Open champion, he's been a great competitor but he just didn't play well enough to do it. Had he sustained himself and finished in the top 12, he would have been selected."

The 10 automatic berths for the international team were determined by current world rankings.

They went to Ernie Els (South Africa), Nick Price (Zimbabwe), Vijay Singh (Fiji), Greg Norman (Australia), Steve Elkington (Australia), Stuart Appleby (Australia), Carlos Franco (Paraguay), Shigeki Maruyama (Japan), Craig Parry (Australia) and Joe Ozaki (Japan).

The two wildcard berths, selected by Australia's five-time British Open champion Peter Thomson, went to Frank Nobilo and Greg Turner, both of New Zealand.

"The Presidents Cup is played over five rounds of which four are played by pairs ... so putting pairs together is very important," Thomson said.

"That's why I picked Turner to partner Nobilo. They are very good friends and they have played on Dunhill Cup teams a lot.

"I chose Nobilo for his maturity and his record for the Cup - and he was very keen and eager to be in it. Once I'd chosen Nobilo, I chose Turner to go with him."