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Sympatico: Couples' controversial choice

Freddie: Star power in Montreal

My weekly Sympatico column is now live:

You know the world has changed when the selection of Tiger Woods to the U.S. Presidents Cup team is more controversial than team captain Fred Couples’ decision to fill out his roster with FedEx Cup winner Bill Haas.

Yesterday Couples announced what would appear obvious to most – that he’d forgo picking Brandt Snedeker and instead hope that Haas’ hand would still be hot when the Presidents Cup is played in Australia in mid-November.

“Bill for the last two years has played phenomenal golf, winning three times and losing a couple of times in a playoff,” said Couples, acknowledging that Snedeker and PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley were potential choices as well. “But Bill, knowing he had to win last week to be on the team, he went out and did it and he’s my second pick.”

Couples’ second choice is actually less likely to be second-guessed than his first captain’s pick, former World No. 1 Woods who has slumped to No. 50 amid a fumbling swing change, injuries and personal turmoil. Couples, who proclaimed he’s “very excited” about having Woods on the team, says the golfer is ready to go.

“We’ve had a few conversations since then and a lot of texts, and I’m just thrilled that Tiger is healthy and ready to play and wants to be on the team,” Couples explained.

Good to see Woods has returned to the world of texting, since he almost singlehandedly managed to give the world a better understanding of the potential of using a cell phone for your private correspondence following his sex scandal in 2009. It is also positive to hear Woods is healthy physically, though one has to wonder about his ailing game as much as his injured knee and ankle.

The remainder of the column is here.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I am admitedly a Tiger Woods fan. Like most I would try my best not to miss a televised tournament he was playing in. Watching him would create it’s own hilite reel. He has set records that may not be broken and definitely gre the game around the world.

    Then Tiger’s world came crashing down on him in November 2009, which was obviously his own fault. Now almost 2 years later he appears not to be the same golfer but in some cases the same man. Arrogant, full of himself, but nothing to show that he has any reason the be these things. Why Fred Couples chose him baffles me. I hope Tiger has a great Presidents Cup and shows that he can be what he once was. In my opinion the game needs him more now than it ever has. But I have my doubts if he can show us any of his past. The main reason is he hasn’t come out and said “Guys I suck! I’m working hard at my game and hope to compete at a high level again, but right now I’m AWFUL”. This to me would show some humility and probably help win back some of what he has lost.

    I guess time will tell!

  • While it wasn’t shocking that Couples chose Eldrick as his Captain’s pick, I do take issue with Fred stating he will take Bradley if Stricker’s neck isn’t good to go for the President’s Cup. Stricker qualified in the Top 10 in President’s Cup point standings, and was not a Captain’s pick. If anyone in said Top 10 can’t play for whatever reason, it makes sense to me that the spot should go to #11 automatically. You’ve already had your 2 picks Fred, and passed over Bradley to take Eldrick. Live with it.

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