Tag Archives: Presidents Cup

2013 Presidents Cup Picks

PrezOddly enough, the lead up to the 2013 Presidents Cup has been strangely quiet.  Almost anti-climactic for serious golf fans, with the only fanfare being the omission of Jim Furyk off Freddy Couples‘ American squad.  That controversy lasted about half a news cycle and then more silence.  At last check, there were still tickets available; the problem being that this event generates as much passion as a Thursday night football game between the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns, which incidentally is up against the prime time replay of the golf coverage on October 3rd.  Who’ll win the ratings battle?

Let’s get the predication out of the way and focus on some more interesting side stories.  The Americans are loaded for bear top to bottom and should win handily against an undermanned International team, but will struggle, as they do in most match play events, and win in a squeaker 18-16.  After watching the underdog Euro team dominate the heavily favored U.S. squad in this year’s Solheim Cup, nothing will surprise me.

Jordan Speith  From usatoday.com
Jordan Speith
From usatoday.com

If you believe as I do that the Ryder Cup is the premier international match-play competition, than the addition of Jordan Speith to the American Presidents squad has got to excite you.  This guy has got the stones for winning at a very young age and the match-play experience will only ready him more for next year’s competition at Gleneagles.  I also like that Hunter Mahan is on the team.  He needs the match play work to continue to exercise the choking demons of the 2010 Ryder Cup catastrophe at Celtic Manor.  See a pattern here?

This year’s International team is featuring five South Africans, but those not named Schwartzel, Els, or Oosthuizen have never sniffed international competition.  First timers Branden Grace and Richard Sterne are relative unknowns, although Grace finished 18th at The Masters, which was his top performance in 12 events on this year’s PGA Tour.

Finally, I am amused every week that Phil and Tiger are in the same field.  When Tiger struggles, the media has a sky is falling conniption fit, but when Phil plays poorly, hardly anyone notices.  The public roots more intensely for Phil over Tiger, but Woods has set his personal bar much higher, and Phil has rolled on the career roller coaster with predictable regularity.  At the end of the day, I think the players take The Presidents Cup more seriously than the fans.  Enjoy the spectacle and see you at Muirfield Village.

Was Tiger Woods hiring Joe LaCava a good move?

Yes, good move for LaCava.  Much speculation has been offered on LaCava’s decision to pick up Tiger’s bag with most of the sentiment running negative.  Before we jump to conclusions, consider what LaCava’s motivations are.  Early in his career he was on Fred Couples’ bag when Freddy took the 1992 Masters.  He obviously earned a good living for the next 15 years and became Freddy’s confidant.  Joe seems to want to remain on the big stage of the PGA Tour and switched to Dustin Johnson and his obvious upside potential when Freddy went on tour with the round bellies.  I suspect LaCava is looking for more notoriety than earnings potential because unless Tiger is paying him a killer salary, Dustin Johnson’s playing potential is greater than Tiger’s.  As we all know, being on Tiger’s bag can be a sideshow of its own and LaCava has positioned himself on center stage.  Of more interest will be how Tiger performs at the Frys.com Open and if he can justify his controversial selection to the Presidents Cup team.  Was the pick of Tiger and the timing of the switch of Couples’ long time caddy to Tiger coincidental?  I doubt LaCava will have an effect one way or another on Tiger’s performance but he’ll certainly be along for the ride.  The only loser here seems to be Dustin Johnson.

Fred Couples Presidents Cup picks – budding controversy?

I read a disturbing blog post in USA Today where Freddy C is advocating use of a captain’s pick for Tiger Woods.  Don’t do it Freddy, make him play his way on the team.  The competition is set for November 17-20 and between now and then, most of the top 25 American stars will be competing in the FedEx Cup playoffs.  Tiger did not qualify for FedEx and is only scheduled to play the Australian Open in November.  How can you consider giving a spot to a guy who’s a total mental basket case and couldn’t win his club championship right now much less compete with the best in the world?  He won’t have the benefit of top competition leading up to the event.

As of this posting, here’s the top 25 qualifying spots for the U.S. Team:

Rank   Player                   Points
    1  Steve Stricker        13,783,403
    2  Matt Kuchar           12,543,827
    3  Phil Mickelson        11,920,047
    4  Nick Watney           11,831,320
    5  Dustin Johnson        10,481,897
    6  Bubba Watson           9,763,499
    7  David Toms             8,787,375
    8  Hunter Mahan           8,624,612
    9  Bill Haas              8,424,777
   10  Jim Furyk              8,091,994
   11  Rickie Fowler          7,479,081
   12  Bo Van Pelt            7,262,583
   13  Brandt Snedeker        7,138,263
   14  Zach Johnson           7,079,980
   15  Jason Dufner           7,055,408
   16  Webb Simpson           6,924,373
   17  Ryan Moore             6,899,113
   18  Keegan Bradley         6,864,399
   19  Mark Wilson            6,842,904
   20  Jonathan Byrd          6,640,688
   21  Ryan Palmer            6,500,754
   22  Jeff Overton           5,921,385
   23  Steve Marino           5,779,352
   24  Gary Woodland          5,776,513
   25  Sean O'Hair            5,599,802

There are so many players at 11-25 that are more deserving than Woods and who would benefit from the experience that it would be a shame for Couples to waste the pick.   If he’s insistent, I’d require Tiger to enter some Fall Season events on the PGA Tour and make him demonstrate he’s capable of taking a roster spot from someone more deserving.