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Dublin: 1°C Friday 23 April 2021

Couples wants Woods to play for his President's Cup spot

The United States’ President’s Cup captain, Fred Couples, thinks Tiger Woods will have to play again before the end of the season to be considered worthy of a spot on the plane to Australia.

Image: Mark Duncan/AP/Press Association Images

IF FRED COUPLES had been asked to pick his President’s Cup team at the start of the year, Tiger Woods’ place on the twelve-man team would have been guaranteed.

Months later, with the former world number one having endured a debilitating achilles injury, a lengthy lay-off and a disastrous performance at last week’s USPGA Championship, Couple’s resolve is beginning to waver.

As the former Masters champion explained to ESPN’s Bob Harig:

“I really want him on the team based on my opinion that he’s been the best player for 10 straight years…

“[but] he can’t just show up the week before in Australia. I have made it clear that whoever I picked will be playing the Australian tournament the week before. But I need him to play more than just there. There’s [sic] quite a few tournaments after the Tour Championship.”

Couples, who only receives two wildcard selections for the biannual event, which pits the United States against a non-European international team, has found his task growing increasingly complicated in recent weeks.

As things currently stand, Steve Stricker, Rickie Fowler and newly-crowned USPGA champion Keegan Bradley (a two-time winner on Tour this year) also find themselves outside the automatic qualification spaces.

The selection of Woods, particularly if it should come in the wake of the fourteen-time major champion’s refusal to countenance playing the the PGA Tour’s low-profile Fall Series, would leave Couples open to accusations of favouritism.

It’s a charge the captain believes to be without merit.

“Look, he has carried this tour for a long time. If somebody looks at it wrong, if I end up picking him, which I probably will, they would be crazy. He doesn’t want to go there and lose.”

After missing the cut at the USPGA, Woods hinted that his next tournament outing would come at the Australian Open, held the weekend prior to the President’s Cup.

For more information read this story at ESPN>

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