Graeme McDowell was penalized two strokes because he touched a leaf while standing in a hazard (bunker) in an incident similar to what happened to Carl Pettersson in the final round of the PGA Championship. The rules are in place to try to prevent players from making awkward efforts to change the conditions of a hazard with their swing. While penalties for moving loose impediments in hazards with a backswing are controversial, it is unlikely that those rules will be eliminated or modified like other rules have been.
On the question of whether or not Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker will play together for four matches, Sobel said that that is not a definite although he thinks that they will play together on day one. Davis Love III will likely be a Captain in a way that is similar to his assistant Fred Couples in that he will not try to impose his will on the pairings the way that 2004 U.S. Captain Hal Sutton did. Instead, like Couples, Love III will base his pairings largely if not entirely on the opinions of the players themselves.
He thinks that Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson will be teamed together again at Medinah just as they were together at Royal Melbourne in the 2011 Presidents Cup. While conventional wisdom may tell you that Simpson & Watson would play better in Four-Ball than Foursomes because of the different styles of their games, they won two Foursomes matches as well as one Four-Ball match together on their way to a 3-1-0 performance.