Couples, as he told GolfChannel.com at the PGA Championship, went with Lucas Glover and Hunter Mahan, two relatively easy choices. Norman, however, colored outside the lines when he picked Ryo Ishikawa, the Japanese phenom, and Adam Scott, the former world beater who has struggled mightily this year.
Ishikawa has not finished better than 56th in a Tour-sanctioned event this year, although he won last week in Japan and is 47th in the world ranking. Scott has just one top-10 finish this year and has missed more cuts (10) than he has made (eight).
“I’m extremely excited to play for Greg and Frank (Nobilo),” Scott said. “Maybe somewhat unexpected because of the tough year. I think it will be great for my game and I feel like I can contribute points and in the team room as well.”
Although Norman called the Ishikawa pick a “no brianer,” picking Scott seems to stretch the bounds of reason. Although the Australian has a winning Presidents Cup record (6-3-1) in two matches, Presidents Cup captains don’t have the luxury of sitting players until Sunday singles because of the five-match format.
Couples said he received numerous text messages on Monday requesting a pairing with Tiger Woods or Steve Stricker, winner of Monday’s Deutsche Bank Championship. Curious if Norman got any text messages asking not to be paired with Scott?