Both Presidents Cup captains went with a mixture of experience and youth for their picks on Tuesday. American captain Fred Couples went with Tiger Woods and Bill Haas, while Greg Norman picked Robert Allenby and Aaron Baddeley.
“It was a very close race with Brandt Snedeker and Keegan Bradley. (Haas) knew he had to win last week to be my pick and he went out and did it,” Couples said.
Couples had already announced Woods would get one of his picks and Haas separated himself from the pack with his playoff victory at the Tour Championship on Sunday. It will be Haas’ first Presidents Cup and his father, Jay, is an assistant captain for the U.S. squad.
Norman also considered Baddeley’s play at East Lake when he made his picks as well as the location of this year’s matches at Royal Melbourne, the sight of the International team’s only victory.
“I wanted to load up the team with as many Aussies as I could,” Norman said. “At the end of the day I went with my guys.”
Norman said the decision came down to the performance of Baddeley and John Senden at the Tour Championship as well, calling both players on Monday to let them know he would be watching. Baddeley finished tied for third place to wrap up his spot.
Couples also said that Bradley would be his extra pick if Steve Stricker, who has been slowed by a neck ailment and was scheduled to have a MRI on Tuesday, can’t play.
The Presidents Cup will be played at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Melbourne, Australia, Nov. 17-20.
The 10 qualifying members for the U.S. team were: Matt Kuchar, Steve Stricker, Dustin Johnson, Webb Simpson, Nick Watney, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, David Toms, Hunter Mahan and Jim Furyk.
The 10 qualifying members for the International team were: Jason Day, Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel, K.J. Choi, Kyung-tae Kim, Retief Goosen, Geoff Ogilvy, Ernie Els, Y.E. Yang and Ryo Ishikawa.