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Maginnes: Presidents Cup spots up for grabs on Sunday
The squads for the 2007 Presidents Cup will be decided Sunday, and John Maginnes is eager to see who's in and who's out. Among those whose fates are up in the air are Stephen Ames, Andres Romero, John Rollins and Brett Wetterich.
By John Maginnes, PGATOUR.com Contributor
TULSA, Okla. -- As if there weren't enough storylines this week at the 89th PGA Championship, this is the last week to earn a spot on the Presidents Cup Team.
Earlier this week, PGATOUR.com's Dave Shedloski wrote about Stephen Ames, who is 19th in the International Team standings. Stephen was born in Trinidad & Tobago, but he is a Canadian citizen and desperately wants to play in the matches this September at Royal Montreal.
Stephen is among a group of accomplished players on the International side who are currently outside the top 10 that will earn spots at the end of the PGA. The International Team standings are based on a player's position in the Official World Golf Ranking while the U.S. Team uses money earned as points, with those points doubled in 2007. U.S. Captain Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, who will guide the International side, then complete their teams with two Captain's Picks on Monday.
Nick O'Hern, who has beaten Tiger Woods twice in the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship, came into the PGA Championship ranked 11th on the International list. Andres Romero, the hot young Argentine, held down the 10th position, but he did not survive the cut in just his second PGA Championship. So considering O'Hern is around for the weekend, he should slip past Romero.
However, that still may not be enough to secure a spot on the team for the left-handed Aussie. Stuart Appleby, who was 12th in points, just behind O'Hern, is playing this weekend as well. The eight-time winner on the PGA TOUR has played on the last four International Teams and certainly doesn't want to watch the matches on television, either.
One player who was in a precarious position just inside the top 10 on the International side was Trevor Immelman. The 2006 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year began the week ninth in the standings and slipped into the weekend at Southern Hills by a single shot. However, a 4-under 66 on Saturday has Trevor in wonderful position to solidify his spot on the team.
Two years ago, Player picked Immelman to round out his team. This year the selection process could be even more interesting, but no matter who rounds out the International Team it will be formidable. Ernie Els, Adam Scott and Vijay Singh will once again lead this team against the Americans.
The U.S. Team is also far from set with only a day remaining. Lucas Glover was the man on the bubble coming into the PGA Championship. Lucas is around for the weekend but at 9 over par through three rounds, he could be glued to the TV on Sunday after he finishes to find out if he has a date in Montreal.
The good news for Glover is that John Rollins, who was in 11th, is not playing golf in Tulsa this weekend. Brett Wetterich, who occupies the 12th spot, is 5 over through 54 holes this week. Interestingly enough, a year ago John and Brett were among the players battling down the stretch to make the Ryder Cup Team. In the end, it was Wetterich carrying the Stars and Stripes while Rollins was left behind.
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There are some players, like Woody Austin, who have had great summers yet are outside the top 10 in points. Woody started this week ranked 18th, and he is currently having the best major championship of his career. Continued good play on Sunday and Woody could jump over eight players and make his way onto the team.
Mark Calcavecchia, Jerry Kelly and Davis Love III were all outside the top 10 in the U.S. standings but within striking distance coming into the PGA Championship. However, none was able to make a move as all three have the weekend off.
Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk and Phil Mickelson will anchor a U.S. Team that has its hands full. Two of the three previous times he has served as the U.S. captain, Nicklaus rounded his team out with the 11th and 12th players on the list. Certainly no one will question the greatest player in the history of the game if he opts to do that again. Last year, though, he opted for experience with Justin Leonard at No. 11 and Fred Couples in 17th.
The year's final major has given us interesting storylines all week. There was a Storm on Thursday afternoon but Tiger will be going for No. 13 on Sunday. But there about a dozen players from a half a dozen countries looking ahead to late September, too.