Alex Miceli - November 23, 2011


Miceli has returned from Australia after covering The Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne. He felt that the biggest thing that went wrong for the Internationals was the fact that they thought they would play better than the U.S. simply by being at Royal Melbourne and they based their teams on having someone with experience and Norman potentially broke up a number of good teams that could have won points. When it comes to making the competition better, he agrees with Greg Norman and feels that giving the host captain choice of format scheduling as well as doubling the Captain’s Picks from 2 to 4 are good ideas.  The current schedule does not allow captains to hide anyone who is not playing well and that creates more issues.

At the beginning of the week, no one thought that the decision to pick Tiger Woods was a good one after starting 0-2. But he began to play better and make putts and then won 2 of his last 3 matches. While the perception improved, Tiger still went 2-3-0 and a lot is asked of Captain’s Picks. He feels that Couples would pick Tiger every time and thinks that in 2012, Davis Love III would pick Tiger if he had to use a Captain’s Pick. Unless Tiger is seriously hurt, he does not think there is any way that Tiger will not be at Medinah.

Norman based his Captain’s Picks on the premise that local knowledge was key at Royal Melbourne and that is how Aaron Baddeley and Robert Allenby ended up on the team. If Norman had four picks, players like John Senden, Louis Oosthuizen, and Vijay Singh may have also been on the team. Certainly those players are currently playing better than someone like Robert Allenby.

For the Internationals in 2013, he thinks that Nick Price is a done deal and will lead the team but the U.S. is a harder pick. He thinks that if the PGA of America does not reach out to Fred Couples for the 2014 Ryder Cup, Finchem could and should make a call to Fred Couples to return to lead the team at Muirfield Village. Miceli feels that some of the things that Couples did at Captain would not fly with the PGA of America. They would have never allowed or accepted Couples’ decision to pick Tiger weeks before the Captain’s Pick announcement nor would they have allowed Couples to be as much of a loose cannon.

It looks that Tiger may be a lock to return to Pebble Beach in 2012 but he does not agree with it and thinks that Tiger would be better served by playing at Riviera instead. Because of the pro-am format and the three courses, there are a lot of variables that out of Tiger’s control and at Riviera, Tiger can have more control over his performance that week.