Old news by now, but it shouldn’t have come as a big surprise to see Mike Weir selected to the Presidents Cup team. Yes, I understand the debate that suggests Ames is playing better, is rated higher and finished in the Top 15 at the PGA Championship. But no one said Gary Player’s moves made logical sense.
In fact, Player seemed to indicate the decision was based on other factors:
And being played in Canada, if we didn’t have a Canadian in the team in my team and playing in Canada, I can assure you in my opinion only, the series would be quite flat amongst the Canadian people. Mike is a hero in his country, deservedly so. And I’m sure the Canadian people are going to be relieved, because I continuously had questions every week: “Are you putting Mike, are you putting him in?” And I said, we have to wait till the end obviously.
Weir said the attempt to play his way onto the PresCup team put added pressure on his already shaky game:
Yeah, it was tough the last couple of weeks, because I ran into obviously a little bit of bad luck with pulling a bit of a neck muscle at Firestone. It was bad timing. Didn’t want to be, you know, hampered by that the last couple of weeks, but that’s the way it WAS. I knew I had been playing well the last couple of weeks leading into that, so it was unfortunate.
So it was kind of tough to wait these last couple of weeks. I’ve always thought highly of the Presidents Cup, enjoyed playing the last three, and thought it was just such a great competition; and being in Canada, I wanted to play badly. You know, I felt like sometimes maybe I was trying too hard. So now that Gary has named me a selection, hopefully I can relax a little bit more and play some really good golf leading into the Presidents Cup. So I’m really relieved.
Ames, for his part, took it well. In a statement issued to the press, he had this to say:
“I’m truly disappointed that I was so close to the honour of playing for the International Team and that it didn’t quite happen for me this time around. As a proud Canadian, I was excited about the idea of playing in the President’s Cup especially given that it is being played in Canada for the first time. I certainly feel that I have played well enough over a sustained period of time to warrant selection, but I also know how many talented players there are to choose from on the International side.”
Interestingly, I had several calls and emails from those close to Ames asking what I made of the decision. Many felt he should have been picked — at least alongside Weir. Hard to imagine how they would have dropped Nick O’Hern….