The Presidents Cup: Couples vs Norman

by Jeff Skinner

It’s time for the boys down under to finally tee it up as the Presidents Cup gets under way tomorrow.  Once again due to the time difference we will be able to see plenty of golf in prime time.  Coverage starts at 9:00pm Wednesday evening on The Golf Channel.

Team Freddy and Team Greg have been together this week while they practice on the Royal Melbourne Golf Club.  Rumor has it the Captain Greg Norman has demanded that the greens be as hard as Stevie Williams head.  Norman thinks his Internationals will have an advantage on the hard greens and he has five Aussies on the team and hopes to foster a “home field” advantage.

The President Cup has traditionally been the weaker, little brother when compared to the Ryder Cup.  European players put their Ryder Cup experiences right next to their major championship wins.  A career can be defined by exceptional play in the Ryder Cup but that does not apply for the Presidents Cup.  But that’s not for the lack of trying, at least this year.

Captains Norman and Couples did their best to drum up as much publicity for this match as they could.  Freddy started by proclaiming very early that he would pick Tiger Woods despite Tiger’s poor play all season.  He lived up to his word when he selected Woods a month before the deadline.

Greg Norman has stirred the pot by taking shots at Couples and Woods.  He questioned the Woods selection saying he thought Keegan Bradley was more deserving of a spot.  Norman has also been critical of Tiger saying he expected a call when Woods moved into his neighborhood.  He also has been openly critical of Tiger’s lifestyle and thinks he may have lost his chances at winning another major.

The two captains have tried to get the Presidents Cup at the top of the sports page.  Couples and Norman certainly have made a huge effort and behind those smiles and handshakes you can’t help but think both men want this one in the worse way.

A win for the U.S. would give Couples vindication for his picks.  Norman, never happy with being upstaged, dearly wants to win for his team, his country and himself.  There should be plenty of great golf on the course and behind the scenes Couples and Norman will be downing the antacid and begging for their boys to bring the trophy home.



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