September 27, 2011
The President Cup conference call on Tuesday, to announce the two wild card selections for the U.S. team -- Greg Norman selected Aaron Baddeley and Robert Allenby (two Aussies) for the International team -- seemed like a mere formality as far as most were concerned. Unlike years past where the final two picks were shrouded in secrecy, almost everyone knew who Fred Couples would be selecting.
So when Couples hopped on the call and announced Bill Haas and Tiger Woods would be getting the remaining two spots, most weren't the least bit surprised. Haas was an automatic pick, following his victory at the Tour Championship.
While Tiger Woods ... well, he hasn't done anything of late, but Fred Couples told him months ago that regardless of his poor play, he was a lock for the team. That meant Haas' spot was a free-for-all between a handful of extremely deserving players.
If we were playing a game of which one doesn't belong with the two U.S. picks, it'd be easy to say Woods is the least deserving selection. His last tour win came in 2009, and his form over his last three tournaments (WD, T-37, MC) has been abysmal.
I understand Couples' reasoning behind picking Woods -- having a Presidents Cup without the most talked-about player in the game seems silly -- but this isn't a popularity contest. Freddie doesn't get bonus points for picking a guy that "used" to be the best player in the sport.
Until Woods proves me wrong, I'll continue to believe his inclusion on the team was a mistake. Like all sports, golf is a "what have you done for me lately" sport And frankly, Woods has done nothing lately to warrant his selection.
Keegan Bradley may not have the name recognition of a Woods, or the recent success of a Bill Haas, but he did win a major championship and regular season tour event this year. He's had success this season -- not in 2009. There's a big difference.
Say all you want about Tiger having 14 majors, being the greatest player of our generation, and having experience in the event. The guy's a shell of his former self, and until he shows up and puts together four quality rounds, I'll continue to think the team would have been better off with a bright-eyed rookie.