The Presidents Cup is this week. Is the competition too nice or the way all Cups should be contested?
Brian Hewitt - Columnist, GOLFCHANNEL.com:
Actually, the competition hasnt always been all that nice. Who can forget the infamous singles match in Virginia when Vijay Singhs caddie, Paul Tesori, wore the hat that said; Tiger Who? on the back. Woods failed to see the humor and drummed Big Daddy handily. Yes, the Presidents Cup is more laid back than the Ryder Cup. But there will be nothing laid back this week about the Montreal crowds following Canadian Mike Weir.
Mercer Baggs - Senior Producer, GOLFCHANNEL.com:
Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player have poured enough sugar over this event to rot all 24 sets of team member teeth. While I respect the notion that these are friendly matches, a little animosity would go a long way to creating some public interest. Ryder Cups are always more entertaining when the two sides are bickering.
Ian Hutchinson - Contrib. Writer, GOLFCHANNEL.com:
The tie negotiated by Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player four years ago left me empty and still does. Since then, its been almost syrupy to the point of the Presidents Cup being more of a friendly than true international competition. That doesnt mean that a War by the Shore or Battle of Brookline is necessary. Gentlemanly play is certainly admirable, but the Internationals need to remember that the United States is the defending champ and the dominant team in Presidents Cup history. The Americans need to remember their recent Ryder Cup history and take their frustration out in the Presidents Cup. Now thats entertainment!
Given his recent dominance on the individual level, how will Tiger Woods fare as he once again returns to team competition?
Tiger was raised to be more of a lone wolf than a team player. That doesnt mean he doesnt know the value of teamwork and it doesnt mean he isnt a good guy in the team room. It just means that Tigers nature is beat everybody else on the premises every week. Just one time Id love to see a captain send Woods out by himself, without a partner, in a four-balls match. It wont ever happen. But if it did, I wouldnt bet against him.
About the same as he always does in team competitions. He'll proably be around .500 after the first four team sessions and then win his singles match. Tiger certainly wants to win this week -- he always wants to win. But should he lose, the disappointment will last for about 5 seconds.
Definitely, Tiger is capable of putting it on auto pilot from the last month and that will be sweet for the American team, but having said that, his physical skills have never been questioned. What will truly distinguish Tiger is his leadership, so his contributions off the course will also be an important factor. Theres a big difference between individual and team success and Tiger, more than anybody, should be leading his teams transition from me to we for the Presidents Cup.
Do you like seeing all 12 players compete in every team session, as is the case for the Presidents Cup, or having four players sit out in foursomes and four-ball, like in the Ryder Cup?
I like the idea that the captains have to sit players for the team sessions. It adds an element of intrigue and edginess to the competition. Andrew Coltart didnt play any matches until the Sunday singles at the 1999 Ryder Cup and he drew Woods one-on-one. He never had a chance. And I dont think he was very pleased with captain Mark James.
I don't think captains serve much of a purpose in Cup matches, except to pick out some pretty bad looking uniforms. Really their only on-course job is to decide who plays with whom, and who has to sit. I find it far more intriguing when players have to be sidelined.
Thats such a tough call. If you invite a player, you dont want to waste his time by sitting him down, especially if hes a character player who is aching to compete. However, deciding who plays and who doesnt places a lot of importance on strategy on the part of the captains. Is there anything wrong with distinguishing the Ryder Cup from the Presidents Cup?
Whats the ONE thing you are most looking forward to this week?
Tiger Woods vs. Rory Sabbatini in the final singles match Sunday with the Presidents Cup riding on the outcome of their match.
How well Mike Weir performs. He will receive crowd support like no other in Presidents Cup history. He's one of the good guys on TOUR; I hope he plays well.
A Tiger Woods/Nick OHern showdown in singles would be interesting or how about Canadian homie Mike Weir up against Woods? I think the latter might be the loudest singles match ever. Speaking of Weir, how will he fare in front of his countrymen after being a controversial captains pick by Gary Player? Sunday singles is always the grand finale, the way it should be.