If Sunday at the BMW Championship was judgment day for Fred Couples’ Presidents Cup team the finality that emerged from a wet-and-wild final round was that this year’s U.S. squad still has plenty to prove.
No one dropped out of the top 10, leaving captain Couples with five Presidents Cup rookies for the November matches at Royal Melbourne, the sight of the International team’s only victory in 1998.
The top 3 remained unchanged with Matt Kuchar, Steve Stricker and Dustin Johnson, while Webb Simpson jumped from sixth to fourth followed by Nick Watney, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson. Cup veteran David Toms’ tie for 10th at the BMW moved him to eighth followed by Hunter Mahan and Jim Furyk.
For Kuchar, Johnson, Simpson, Watney and Watson this will be their first Presidents Cup, although Kuchar, Johnson and Watson played on last year’s U.S. Ryder Cup team.
“I was very nervous all day,” Couples said. “I talked to (Furyk) after the round and when he was 4 over after six holes I sunk.”
Couples’ next hurdle will be Sept. 27 when he makes his final captain’s pick. He already announced his plan to pick Tiger Woods with his first pick.
“I had two picks and I feel like Tiger Woods is very deserving of the one. I feel like people I’ve talked to like the pick. It’s all irrelevant to me,” Couples said. “I told him why I picked him early because I needed him to do a few things. I wanted everyone to know they were really playing for one spot.”
As for who may land the final spot Couples narrowed the list to three potential “obvious” choices.
“I think Brandt Snedeker, Bill Haas and Keegan Bradley are the leaders in this three-ring circus,” Couples said. “(Next week’s) Tour Championship is still deciding my second pick . . . the 12th spot on the team.”
On the International side, Geoff Ogilvy played his way into the top 10 with his third-place finish at Cog Hill. He will be joined at Royal Melbourne by Jason Day, Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel, K.J. Choi, Kyung-tae Kim, Retief Goosen, Ernie Els, Y.E. Yang and Ryo Ishikawa.