Couples tells Woods that he'll be on Presidents Cup team no matter what

fred couples, tiger woods
Getty Images
Fred Couples, who captained Tiger Woods at the 2009 Presidents Cup, says he already knows who he'll pair Woods with at the 2011 Presidents Cup in November.
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Thursday, August 25, 2011 | 6:29 p.m.

Fred Couples has told Tiger Woods that he decided to add him to the 12-member U.S. Presidents Cup team.

Couples took the drama out of the debate over whether Woods would be on the team, saying Thursday it's already a done deal.

"I've told him that he's going to be on the team," Couples said just before a practice round preparing for the Boeing Classic at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge. "There is no reason for me to wait till Sept. 26 to pick Tiger. He's the best player in the world forever."

Ten players automatically qualify for the team based on points accumulated over the past two years. Couples is then given two captain's picks to round out his squad, which will compete against a team of non-European International players at Royal Melbourne in Australia on Nov. 14-20.

Woods, who is 28th on the Presidents Cup list, had a long summer layoff because of soreness in his left knee and left Achilles' tendon. He played in two recent tournaments, finishing 37th in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in early August then missing the cut the following week at the PGA Championship.

Woods wrote on his website earlier this week that he had conversations with Couples about playing on the team and that "of course, I want to be on the team" that competes in Australia.

"Is he playing well right now? No. (But) he almost won (the Masters) four months ago so you don't do that by playing poor golf," Couples said. "In my opinion, when you're the best player in the world for 12 straight years and you're not on a team, there's something wrong.

"Everyone else can have their opinion, but as far as I know Jay Haas and myself are the captains and we want him on this team."

Haas is Couples' assistant captain for these matches.

Couples, initially unaware the Woods had not qualified for this week's FedExCup playoff event, told him by text message to find another tournament to play. Woods' next scheduled appearance is not until the Australian Open, the week before the Cup, although he said he might add a PGA Tour event to his schedule.

"He has responded to that. I'm pretty sure you'll see him one more time," Couples said. "That's enough for me. I know the last thing he wants to do is embarrass himself. I think he'll be ready to play. Does that mean he's going to go out and win every point? No, I don't expect that. But I expect him to be sharp and ready to play. I would be shocked if he's not."

Couples has requested that all his team members play in the Australian Open to sharpen their games before the Presidents Cup. The Australian Open is Nov. 10-13 at The Lakes near Sydney.

One of the players on the edge of the Presidents Cup standings is Bill Haas, son of Jay Haas. He is ranked 10th with a month to go before the Sept. 26 selection date. Jim Furyk and Rickie Fowler are 11th and 12th.

"I don't know how you can criticize someone for choosing Tiger Woods. If he goes there and doesn't play well I would be shocked. I have a pairing for him. He deserves to be on the team," Couples said. "There are guys who are 11, 12, 13 who are having phenomenal years. But you know they're picks. I could take the easy way out and just pick 1 through 12. I don't think if that works, either. I think that's the easy way out."



Tiger has paid his dues for his misgivings and I think 2 years is long enough. Let it go people and move on!!
I am grateful to Fred Couples for believing in him and giving him this chance to quiet down all the critics who think he should not have been picked. I am sure the TV ratings will surge upward because non-golfers as well as regular golfers will be watching just to see him play.


I am happy that Fred Couples picked Tiger to play in the President's Cup because I really believe he is now ready to show everyone he still has his A game in tow. Every time he plays, there is more TV coverage because of him. Non golfers make up a sizeable percentage of people who watch golf, but only when he is in the field. People who won't watch the President's cup because Tiger is playing, you are only hurting the President's cup ratings, not TIGER.


Great pick, Tiger Woods is arguably the greatest player to ever play the game, who can handle pressure. This will bring more people to watch the presidents cup that would not normally watch it. I think it took some courage for Freddie to make that pick and I respect him for that. You may not agree with Tiger's life style or like him, but cannot argue about his greatness. He completely changed the game of golf and motivated most of these young players to become what they are today.


Would any other player with a record like Tiger has have been a captains pick? And does this pick exclude a player who should have been chosen? I surely dont understand Freddie doing this!!


Golf is a game for Gentlemen. I believe Tiger Woods has proven himself not to be one and should not be on any team representing the United States!


I have been a Fred Couples fan for many years,after this fiasco I am no longer a fan.


Tiger is good for golf and has been dispite his misfortunes. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.....Otherwise, good pick Freddy.


Just proves you dont have to play well, just be a buddy. Tiger should of missed this year and just maybe play next year. I dont care if he is the best (past) he is not the best now. How does Freddy think this will strenghten the team, the man hasn't done anything this year but make the media happy. Wrong Pick.
Freddy might think he is the best in the world forever. Well right now he is the biggest flop in the world. Period


The Tiger pick won't put me in front of the TV much to watch the cup and I watch golf faithfully, I won't watch a minute of this cup. Fred's mind was made up a long time ago. Why don't you just rank him (Tiger) # 1, heck he once was. All the players that worked thier butt off to qualify and be close have to come up with reasons why they think it's a good pick in the interviews, besides ratings. Fame gets people out of things they shouldn't and it looks like in this case gets someone into things you shouldn't.