Thursday, August 25, 2011

Keegan over Tiger for Prez Cup?

Note: Three hours after this post, the AP reported that Fred Couples has told Tiger Woods that he will be on the U.S. Presidents Cup team. I guess Freddy doesn’t read my blog.

Phil Mickelson is a big Keegan Bradley fan. Who isn’t these days?

The big left-hander weighed in on U.S. Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples’ two captain picks for the international exhibition in Australia (Nov. 17-20).

Keegan Bradley won the PGA Championship and
HP Byron Nelson Championship in playoffs.
Asked if he would like to see the struggling Tiger Woods on the team as a captain’s pick, Mickelson said yes ... but not before his new buddy Bradley, winner of this year’s PGA Championship and HP Byron Nelson Championship.

“I would like to make sure Keegan Bradley gets on the team,” Mickelson said. “He was not part of the tour last year and wasn’t able to accrue points like many of the other players. Being a two-time winner and a major champion, he needs to be on the team.”

Mickelson, who has played several practice rounds with Bradley this year, said he’d be OK with Bradley and Woods being on the team, as long as Bradley is picked first and Woods adds at least one more event to his schedule before the Australian Open, which is a week before the Presidents Cup.

Only it looks like Woods isn’t adding another event before Australia.

Should Woods be on the team?

For years, my friend Andy in Kansas City used this hypothetical when it came to these kinds of questions:

If an alien life force came to earth and challenged us to 18 holes of golf to determine whether or not they would destroy the planet, Andy always chose Tiger Woods to represent earth in the hypothetical. The thinking was clear: For the past 20 years, Woods has been the best golfer on the planet.

If the future of the human race depended on one golfer, Woods was Andy’s guy.

He was my guy, too.

Andy and I haven’t had that debate in a while. No wonder why.

The question remains. Should Tiger Woods be on the Presidents Cup team?

Rickie Fowler deserves a Presidents Cup
pick more than Tiger Woods does.
Probably not. He hasn’t played enough. He hasn’t been healthy (physically or mentally). When Woods has played, he hasn’t shown that he is anywhere close to the same player that was a no-brainer pick for Ryder Cup teams, Presidents Cup teams or Intergalactic Supremacy Matches.

Mickelson is right. Keegan Bradley needs to be on Couples’ U.S. squad. He’s playing as well as anyone right now. The skinny dude hits it forever and drops 30-foot bombs like they were tap-ins. He showed incredible guts down the stretch at Atlanta Athletic Club at the PGA Championship—bouncing back from a triple-bogey on No. 15 to birdie the next two holes and win in a playoff. 

That’s all the proof Couples needs to know how Bradley handles pressure. The kid is a gamer.

I’d love to see Couples use his picks on Bradley and Rickie Fowler, who birdied his final four holes in last year’s Ryder Cup in Wales to scrape out a half point against Edoardo Molinari. Fowler is ranked 12th in Presidents Cup standings, trailing only Jim Furyk for non-qualifiers.

As for Andy’s hypothetical, if aliens show up to challenge earth in a life-or-death match any time soon … I think we’re in big trouble.


  1. I agree with your thoughts on Ricky Fowler. But will politics (Michelson endorsement of Bradley) influence Freddy?

  2. Mickelson and Couples are good friends, but so are Woods and Couples. The U.S. didn't have Woods for the 2008 Ryder Cup at Valhalla and we did pretty good then.

    I'm a TW fan -- a fan of his golf game, that is -- but the U.S. team will be stronger without him in Australia in November.