November 15, 2011
Fred Couples has a ton of moves he has to make as captain of the Presidents Cup. He has to figure out outfits, pairings, dinners, and media appearances. He directs his vice captains to certain players struggling, or others that might just need some confidence to finish the job. He's the motivator, the face of the team and at the end of the day, the man that is the hero of the United States or the man that has to bear the grunt of the loss.
But one decision seems like a no-brainer. Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker. The two like each other, and ever since Couples rolled the dice with these two in 2009, the group has gone 6-1-0 in team competitions, rolling the Internationals in Harding Park with a record of 4-0-0 as teammates.
The problem is, Stricker isn't exactly 100 percent this week health-wise, and Couples has had to bounce around the idea this Dream Team won't be the easy pick, going as far as to say Tiger might be pairing up with Dustin Johnson at some point at Royal Melbourne. The main reason? Because Johnson and former partner Phil Mickelson won't be playing together.
Johnson explained it on Wednesday, saying, "Me and Phil will not be playing together this week. We do better playing against each other than with each other. We are good buddies, we love playing each other. But as far as — you know, some people, you just don't — as Phil put it, we didn't have that good energy. We are very similar. Especially the way we play and stuff. So we just didn't quite mesh well."
It might seem crazy to break up such a winning team in Tiger and Steve, but if that means getting Johnson, the young stud who could really take advantage of this format if paired with the right guy, it might be worth it.