A phone call from Fred Couples in May after Keegan Bradley won his first PGA Tour event may have been the coolest thing that happened to him during his golf rookie season but it could easily turn to just “cold” if he fails to get another phone call from Couples in the next month.
Bradley moved up to No. 18 in the Presidents Cup standings after his second victory for the year. He still has three more tournaments with $8 million purses to squeeze into the Top 10 and become the U.S. Team’s first tour rookie qualifier. Otherwise, Couples is entitled to make two captain’s picks on September 26.
However, it seems that Couples only has to make one more pick as it looks like he has already set the first slot for Tiger Woods.
“He doesn’t have to prove a lot to any captain, I don’t think,” Couples said at the Memorial, even as Woods was taking a three-month break from the course to allow his leg injuries to heal.
Couples once again suggested two weeks ago at the Firestone Tournament that he would add Woods to the Presidents Cup team if he indicate his desire to play for him.
“As far as I’m concerned, if he is not in the top 10 … he will be on our team, no doubt,” Couples told The Golf Channel.
Couples’ pronouncements mean that he would pick someone who has played two full tournaments only since the Masters and who might have competed only once during the last three months before the Presidents Cup. Woods may be under contract to play on November 10-13 in the Australian Open in Sydney but that is only a week before the Royal Melbourne matches.
Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin did not have this problem when it was time to make a decision for his four selections last year since there were no other Americans who were considered as logical picks and Woods had consecutive finishes in the top 15.
It is different this year because outside of the top 10 in the standings are Rickie Fowler, Gary Woodland and Bradley.