MELBOURNE, Australia – When Michael Jordan withdrew from his assistant captain’s role for this week’s Presidents Cup because of the NBA labor strife and was replaced by John Cook, some speculated it was a move to shore up Couples’ lineup in case of injury.
Steve Stricker hadn’t played since the Tour Championship with an ongoing neck ailment that made his left arm weak and Hunter Mahan withdrew from last week’s Australian Open with a spine injury. With first-alternate Keegan Bradley back in south Florida there was little chance he could make it to Australia in time and Cook could be a viable option.
Although Stricker appears to be fine and Mahan’s trainer told GTC the American should be “100 percent,” Cook said he considered the possibility when he was named an assistant, however unlikely.
“It might have been maybe in the back of (Couples’) mind in case of emergency only,” Cook said. “You know, if you have a chance to step in, that's what you do.”
Still, Cook wasn’t expecting a last-minute call up.
“By no means would I be the alternate that got in,” he said. “I would be the guy that was here off the emergency squad, you know, when that second quarterback goes down and the only other guy was that practice-squad guy.”