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Fred Couples is obviously not a "What have you done for me lately" kind of guy. He proved it by tabbing the 132nd-ranked player in FedExCup points to be a part of his Presidents Cup team.
Yep, pending his acceptance of Freddie's Captain's Pick, Tiger Woods is headed down under to represent the United States when the Americans take on the International squad in the biennial Presidents Cup matches Nov. 14-20 in Melbourne, Australia. The question is, why?
Aside from a tie for fourth at The Masters, where he harnessed his fading powers for a couple of magical hours on Sunday, Tiger's been a train wreck this season, physically and mentally. Since that afternoon in Augusta, Woods has withdrawn from the Players, dealt with knee and ankle injuries, fired caddie Steve Williams in a seeming fit of pique, posted a T37 at a course (Firestone) he once dominated, and missed the cut, badly, at the PGA Championship.
Right now, Tiger can't find a fairway off the tee with binoculars and a GPS; he's 190th in driving accuracy. His scoring average of 70.53 is easily the worst of his career. Admittedly, it's a small sample size given his abbreviated schedule, but that brings up another point: Has Tiger played enough competitive golf over the last year to bring any kind of game to Royal Melbourne?
Right off the bat, Couples sounded defensive in announcing the pick.
"There is no reason for me to wait till Sept. 26 to pick Tiger. He's the best player in the world forever. Is he playing well right now? No. (But) he almost won (The Masters) four months ago so you don't do that by playing poor golf," Couples said. "In my opinion, when you're the best player in the world for 12 straight years and you're not on a team, there's something wrong.
"Everyone else can have their opinion, but as far as I know Jay Haas and myself are the captains and we want him on this team."
Here's the bottom line: The Presidents Cup has always suffered from a credibility gap and an interest deficiency as the Ryder Cup's red-headed stepbrother. Holding the event without Tiger — even a wounded, toothless Tiger — is NBC's worst nightmare. Like it or not, he still moves the needle, even if he's only attracting rubberneckers eager for another meltdown. I suspect that if Freddie needed any persuading, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem and NBC analyst Johnny Miller were more than happy to provide it.