Notes Tie Will Lead to Playoff

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GEORGE, South Africa -- If the Presidents Cup ends in a tie, it could lead to the most exciting aspect of these matches -- a sudden-death playoff.
 
Neither captain likes the idea.
 
'I think that's an awful lot of pressure on one player to do that,' U.S. captain Jack Nicklaus said Tuesday. 'However, that's the rules of how we're playing.'
 
The defending champion retains the trophy if the Ryder Cup matches end in a tie.
 
In the Presidents Cup, each captain places the name of one player in an envelope before the first day of matches are completed on Thursday. If both teams have 17 points at the conclusion of play Sunday, those players -- Tiger Woods and Ernie Els, for example -- have a playoff to determine which team wins the Presidents Cup.
 
So far, it hasn't come down to that.
 
The closest Presidents Cup was in 1996, when Fred Couples holed a long putt on the 17th green to beat Vijay Singh in the final match for a 16 1/2-15 1/2 victory.
 
International team captain Gary Player agreed with Nicklaus, saying it was too great of a burden on one player to decide four days of team competition.
 
'I would like to see it the same as the Ryder Cup,' Player said. 'If you tie it, you tie. I'm in the horse business, and when I see a Kentucky Derby ... in a tie, they don't go back 200 yards and have a race-off.'
 
Player referred to Bernhard Langer missing a 6-foot putt on the final hole at Kiawah Island in the 1991 Ryder Cup, which cost Europe the trophy. The photo of Langer throwing his head back and yelling in agony is one of the lasting images in golf.
 
'You've seen some very cruel things,' Player said.
 
ON SAFARI: Masters champion Mike Weir didn't wait for The Presidents Cup to begin to get his fill of adventure.
 
Weir and his wife went to Shamwari Game Reserve about five hours east of George for a safari. They saw rhinos and lions, and got a close glimpse of a leopard.
 
'It was like a cat, just playing with our truck,' Weir said. 'It wasn't that big, only about 75 or 80 pounds.'
 
The only letdown was going to Mossel Bay, where people can go into a cage that is submerged for a view of Great White Sharks.
 
'I didn't go into the cage because there were no sharks around,' he said.
 
HOME SOIL: The only other time The Presidents Cup was played outside the United States was 1998 in Australia, which is the only year Robert Allenby of Australia didn't make the International team.
 
Allenby was severely injured in a car accident in 1996 and was just starting to regain his form when the teams were selected. He thought his knowledge of Royal Melbourne would get him a captain's pick, but Peter Thomson left him off the team.
 
'That was a tough one to miss,' Allenby said.
 
He went to the Crown casino and had dinner with the International team, and even went to the course the first day to watch some matches and show support.
 
'It was tough to get me out there,' Allenby said. 'This was a course where I had the best record of any other player in the event. It was hard to watch.'
 
That won't be the case at Fancourt.
 
BAG MAN: Coming off the 17th green during a practice round, Jay Haas pulled out a pen and asked Tiger Woods to sign his golf bag.
 
Ebay?
 
Not quite. Haas, who previously played on two Ryder Cup teams and the '94 Presidents Cup team, later asked Chris DiMarco for his signature. He planned to get all of his teammates to turn his bag into a memento.
 
'I've got a couple of these bags at home without anything on them,' Haas said.
 
DIVOTS: Half of the U.S. team looked bleary-eyed at a press conference Tuesday, and for good reason. Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III, Jim Furyk, Justin Leonard and David Toms all arrived Monday night. 'We haven't seen much yet,' Toms said. 'It was dark last night. Hotel is nice.' Love said later he had a migraine, about the fifth one this year.
 
  • At stake in The Presidents Cup is bragging rights at home. Jim Furyk lives near Vijay Singh. Tiger Woods lives in the same neighborhood as Stuart Appleby. 'I don't want to go home and have Vijay popping off for the next couple of months,' Furyk said. 'That's not fun.'
     
  • Mike Weir of Canada brought each of his teammates a jersey that Canada wore when it won the gold medal in hockey at the Salt Lake City Olympics, each with their name stitched on the back. 'There's 11 (players) on the team that probably don't know a lot about ice hockey,' assistant captain Ian Baker-Finch said. 'That was kind of a unique thing.'
     
    STAT OF THE WEEK: For the first time since The Presidents Cup began in 1994, the reigning PGA champion is not on either team.
     
    FINAL WORD: 'I don't need a lot of incentive to get my batteries charged.' -- Arnold Palmer, 74, who will play in the Office Depot Father-Son Challenge next month with his grandson.
     
    Related Links:
  • Meet the Teams
  • Full Coverage - The Presidents Cup
     
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