Nick Price trying to create Presidents Cup emotion
Now that Sang-moon Bae has completed his military service in South Korea, he is ready to get back to work. Bae already is practicing and plans to compete Sept. 14-17 in the Shinhan Donghae Open, a tournament co-sanctioned by the Korean PGA Tour and the Asian Tour.
After that, International captain Nick Price would love to see him make a detour to the Presidents Cup.
''I wish he'd come over and spend a week here,'' Price said Monday at Liberty National, where the Presidents Cup begins on Sept. 28. ''If Si Woo Kim makes the team, it might be a great thing for him to be here.''
But it goes beyond helping with any language barrier.
Price, in his third stint as captain, wants to bottle up the emotion from the team room after a one-point loss to the Americans two years ago in South Korea. The Americans rallied late when Chris Kirk made a 15-foot putt and Anirban Lahiri missed from 4 feet, and the outcome was decided by the final match. Bill Haas was 1 up over Bae when the hometown star chunked a chip and eventually conceded the match.
''There was so much empathy for Sang-moon Bae and for Anirban - the camaraderie, the team spirit, the emotion and the compassion came out for those two guys,'' Price said. ''Because they felt so bad. They felt like they let the whole International side down.''
Price said he told both of them they would never face pressure like that again, and that everyone on the team had gone through it before.
Looking back, Price compared that moment in South Korea to when Europe narrowly lost the Ryder Cup in 1983 at PGA National. It was still a loss, but Seve Ballesteros used that to show how close Europe was to ending nearly three decades of losing.
''The feeling and the emotion that went through the team room in 2015, I don't think it will take much to pick that up again,'' Price said. ''This is a different team to any of the teams I've been on. These guys are all motivated. We're tired of losing. There's no doubt about it.''
The International team's only victory was in 1998 at Royal Melbourne.
Price isn't big on bringing in motivational speakers. He believes inspiration comes from the words of someone like Adam Scott, who has played on seven teams without ever winning, or other players who have been through the emotions of losing.
So imagine what kind of effect Bae might have on the team.
Bae left shortly after the Presidents Cup for 21 months of military service, in which he served as a rifleman in an Army infantry unit.
''I would love him to be here,'' Price said. ''I'd talk to the team about it and see what they felt about it, and then talk to the tour. You want people who have that emotional ... who can just talk to the guys, whatever it is. You can't (fake) emotion. The more the team shares their emotions, the better off you are.''