Nicklaus Player to Return as Presidents Cup Captains

RSS

2005 PresidentDUBLIN, Ohio -- Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player were selected Wednesday as captains of the Presidents Cup for the third straight time, giving Player a chance to finally get a victory in the matches and Nicklaus an opportunity to hoist a trophy in Canada.
 
'We couldn't be more pleased to have these two back and connected with the game,' PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said.
 
The Presidents Cup will be played in the fall of 2007 at Royal Montreal, the oldest golf club in North America.
 
The announcement at Muirfield Village was a mild surprise, especially the way the matches ended last year. It was a farewell tour for Nicklaus, who played his final major championship at the British Open, then went out in style when his U.S. team won the Presidents Cup in the final match on the final hole when Chris DiMarco made a 15-foot birdie.
 
Finchem said U.S. players lobbied to bring Nicklaus back, and the Golden Bear said it was a perfect way to stay in the game.
 
'I was very flattered they gave me an opportunity to stay involved in something I love,' Nicklaus said.
 
Nicklaus and Player, rivals in their prime who were among only five men to win the career Grand Slam, have staged quite a duel as captains in the Presidents Cup.
 
It started in 2003 in South Africa when the matches ended in a tie at Fancourt, and Tiger Woods and Ernie Els halved three sudden-death playoff holes with pars until it was too dark to continue. As mass confusion broke out on the second green, Nicklaus and Player decided to call it a tie and share the cup.
 
Last year at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in northern Virginia, the matches remained tied going into the final day until DiMarco beat Stuart Appleby in the final match.
 
Finchem noted that in the last two Presidents Cups, the U.S. and International teams have played 1,221 holes over 68 matches and the outcome wasn't determined until the last putt.
 
'It's our time to win,' Player said.
 
It will be the fourth time Nicklaus has been captain in the Presidents Cup, with a 1-1-1 record. He might be motivated going to Canada, which became an elusive championship for him to win. The Canadian Open is the only significant tournament Nicklaus never won during his career, although he finished second seven times at golf's third-oldest championship.
 
The only other captain to serve in three straight matches was Peter Thomson from 1996 to 2000. Finchem said picking Nicklaus and Player for a third straight time 'just felt like the right thing to do at the time.'
 
'We know there are a a lot of players that should be captain,' Finchem said. 'But in the big picture, this is still the infancy of the Presidents Cup.'
 
The matches will be played Sept. 27-30.
 
Still to be determined is when qualifying for the Presidents Cup will end. The teams have been picked after the PGA Championship in recent years, but Finchem said he was looking into how the PGA Tour's schedule in 2007 -- particularly four big events at the end of the new FedEx Cup competition -- will affect that.
 
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.