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No Change in Format for 2013 Presidents Cup


Despite their best lobbying efforts, the European team for the 2013 Presidents Cup will be playing the same format and for the same number of points as in competitions past.

Former captain Greg Norman, 2013 captain Nick Price and long-time team member Ernie Els have petitioned PGA Tour commissioner and U.S. captain Fred Couples to align the Presidents Cup format similar to that of the Ryder Cup. The two biennial competitions are held in alternating years.

Like his predecessor Norman, Price wants to see the total number of points reduced from 34 to 28 as the International squad is traditionally not as deep as the American contingent. They've been shooting for four alternate-shot matches, rather than six on the first day and five on the second day.

But that won't be happening at this year's Presidents Cup. The 10th event will take place October 3-6 at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. The Americans lead the overall series 7-1-1, and have won four straight Cups.

"The issue to all of us is dead and buried," Price told Golfweek's Alex Miceli.

The selection of the International team is based on the players' position in the world golf rankings. As of today, the 12-man team - which draws players from countries outside of Europe - would be comprised of:

Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa)
Adam Scott (Australia)
Charl Schwartzel (South Africa)
Ernie Els (South Africa)
Branden Grace (South Africa)
Jason Day (Australia)
George Coetzee (South Africa)
John Senden (Australia)
Geoff Ogilvy (Australia)
Hiroyuki Fujita (Japan)
Tim Clark (South Africa)
Richard Sterne (South Africa)

The rankings range from No. 6 Oosthuizen to No. 49 Fujita. The eligible players met Tuesday night at Doral, site of this week's WGC-Cadillac Championship, to discuss the issue.

On the other hand, the top-12 Americans are (in order of their points):

Brandt Snedeker
Tiger Woods
Matt Kuchar
Hunter Mahan
Phil Mickelson
Dustin Johnson
Bubba Watson
Webb Simpson
Keegan Bradley
Steve Stricker
Bill Haas
Jason Dufner

These players range from No. 2 Woods to No. 30 Haas.

On Wednesday, Els pressed the case for altering the format to make the playing field more level. "Our team doesn't quite have the depth that the American team has," said Els, a seven-time participant. "Their last player in is about where my (world) ranking is, 25, 26 in the world. Right now I'm like No. 4 on the team. The more points we play for, the worse off we are. The Ryder Cup, they play for 28 points; we play for 34."

Els also admitted the case was closed for a format change in 2013. "They've already said no," Els told Miceli. "But (Price is) trying to get something done for the future. 34 points, 32 points is not a huge difference, but it could be big."

Oosthuizen, who also was at the meeting, was disappointed in Finchem and Couples' desire to stick to the current format. "You want to put your strongest team out there, and it'll be a great one," the 2010 British Open champion told Miceli.

"I think it'll be a great match-up if it can be the same format as the Ryder Cup. We've taken it that it's not going to change this year, and we're going to go out and try our best, but I think it's going to be a much better competition future-wise if they can do it."