DORAL, Fla. – Hours after the International team’s 19-15 loss to the United States at the 2011 Presidents Cup, the world side’s seventh defeat in nine editions of the biennial matches, captain Greg Norman was asked what he would suggest to improve his side’s chances.
Among the options the Shark mentioned were giving International captains four picks instead of two and switching the format to begin with four-ball play instead of foursomes, which the Internationals lost 4-2 and 4-1 at Royal Melbourne.
“I hope the PGA Tour listens. I am going to put it in a report back to the PGA Tour, because they have asked me for feedback,” Norman said at Royal Melbourne.
The Tour may have listened to Norman but they didn’t seem compelled to act. On Tuesday at Doral, this year’s International captain Nick Price met with about 12 potential team members and a dramatic change to the selection process doesn’t seem likely. However, the idea of switching the order of play to begin with a four-ball session instead of foursomes does seem to have some traction.
“They may change that, it might be best-ball (four-ball) first, but that’s it and it’s not a significant change,” Tim Clark said. “Everything on our end will be the same. Obviously we feel like we’d have a better chance if we played for less points but that’s not going to happen.”
The potential makeup of this year’s International team was also a topic of conversation Tuesday. Of the current top 10 international players in the World Golf Ranking, six are from South Africa and four are from Australia. The next two available players are Richard Sterne and Marcus Fraser, from South Africa and Australia, respectively.
“In the past it’s been a blend of a lot of different countries but right now it’s the two countries pretty much,” said Clark, one of Norman’s assistant captains in 2011. “It could be more South Africans. If (Retief Goosen, No. 120 in the world) is healthy now he can play his way onto the team and you might have seven South Africans which would be crazy.”