Featured Golf News
Presidents Cup Team Captains Fill Out Rosters
American captain Fred Couples and his International counterpart Nick Price finalized their 12-man rosters for the 2013 Presidents Cup. The biennial competition involving squads from the U.S. and the rest of the world outside Europe will be played October 3-6 at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.
Couples selected 20-year-old Jordan Spieth and Webb Simpson as his two captain's picks, while Price named Zimbabwe's Brendon de Jonge and Australian Marc Leishman.
On Tuesday, the automatic qualifiers for the U.S. were named: Tiger Woods, Brandt Snedeker, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner, Steve Stricker, Bill Haas, Hunter Mahan and Zach Johnson.
The International contingent's top-10 is Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel, Jason Day, Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen, Hideki Matsuyama, Branden Grace, Graham DeLaet, Richard Sterne and Angel Cabrera.
A teleconference was held Wednesday with the captains, their selections and Golf Channel's Rich Lerner and Frank Nobilo on hand. Here's what was discussed during the get-together with the media.
RICH LERNER: Let's welcome both captains, both members of the World Golf Hall of Fame, Fred at the Pacific Palisades at his beloved Riviera, and Nick Price at Hobe Sound, Florida at McArthur Golf Club, a course you designed. Fred, this is your third time as captain, unbeaten. In terms of your coaching philosophy, do you follow other sports, are you more a Zen master like Phil Jackson, or taskmaster like Alabama coach Nick Saban?
FRED COUPLES: I feel like Joe Torre. Love my players. I feel like I'm not going to dot every "I" and cross every "t" perfectly, that's why I have Jay and Davis. I do love the idea of team golf. It's fun. We have won the last two times that I've captained, but the players, they do all the work, and it's just fun to watch, not only my team, but the International Team play, too. It's a great week for me.
RICH LERNER: And they love playing for you. The bulk of the International Team that you will be facing, Nick Price will need the two young Aussies to deliver in a big way, Masters champion Adam Scott; and Jason Day, three Top 10s this year at the majors; Schwartzel, strong, his lone Presidents Cup appearance two years ago, 3 1 1. Els making his 8th start; Oosthuizen out since July with back and neck issues says he will be ready. Hideki Matsuyama, 21 years old with Top 10s at the U.S. Open and British Opens, DeLaet two top threes DeLaet the first FedEx Cup Playoff events. Who will round out the team? Let's find out now, International Captain, Nick Price, with his two choices. Nick?
NICK PRICE: Well, thanks Rich. Yesterday was a really tough day for me. Obviously going through as many stats and going through as much as I could. But my first pick is Marc Leishman from Australia, who I'm sure many will agree is a guy who is on the rise, a young player who has played really well in major championships this year; particularly at Augusta, had a really good chance. He was my first pick. And my second pick is my fellow countryman and Zimbabwean Brendon de Jonge who I've watched with close interest over the past four or five years. He brings a consistency and he's just a wonderful guy, and I'm really looking forward to having both of those guys on the team.
RICH LERNER: Two fine young players, consistent ball strikers. Tim Clark is left off the tee and he's been something of a match play giant-killer. Why not Tim Clark?
NICK PRICE: Well, that was what it came down to yesterday, and Tim Clark was the third guy. For the last month and a half, two months, I've confided a lot in Tim Clarke about how he felt, and I really thought he was going to make the team; until Monday, I honestly thought he was going to make the team. But you know, he has not played much at Muirfield over the last seven or eight years. In fact, I think he's played once there since 2006. And his lack of length off the tee at Muirfield really was probably one of the deciding factors. It was probably the hardest phone call I've ever had to make in my life yesterday to phone Tim and tell him he wasn't on the team. I just think that it would have been very difficult to pair him with someone with a distinct lack of distance off the tee. Experience wise he was the one guy who I thought would bring a lot to the team. But Muirfield Village is a specialist golf course, and I think both Marc and Brendon both cut the ball, both fade the ball and hit the ball pretty far. That was sort of one of the factors.
RICH LERNER: We'll get back to Nick in just a moment. Brendon de Jonge, one of those captains choices, is with us now, Brendan, congratulations, your reaction when you took that call from captain Nick Price.
BRENDON DE JONGE: Over the moon, obviously overjoyed and feel very honored, privileged and extremely excited.
FRANK NOBILO: Congratulations. I talked to you a lot during the course of the year and I'm well aware of how important it was for to you make this team, but also aware that Nick Price was your idol growing up. How does it feel to be picked by your idol?
BRENDON DE JONGE: It's unbelievable. This was obviously the primary goal starting out last year was to make this team, and especially playing for Nick. Nick has been everything to us growing up in junior golf in Zimbabwe, and now to have an opportunity to play for him is definitely a dream come true.
RICH LERNER: Brendon, again, congratulations, and we'll see you at Muirfield Village for your first ever Presidents Cup. We are joined by his teammate Marc Leishman. Marc, congratulations to you, this is your first Presidents Cup team. What is the level of importance of the Presidents Cup back in Australia? I may have lost Marc on the connection right there. Let's get your reaction to these two selections, Marc Leishman, and Brendon de Jonge. Have you heard what Nick had to say about Muirfield Village? He believes it is a specialist course and that Tim Clark didn't have the length.
FRANK NOBILO: Yeah, I would argue the other way; the last time Tim Clark played at Memorial obviously was 2010. He does have a best of 16th around there, but this is match play, so sometimes it doesn't really matter if the course is long or short. And then really you want a very good match player; I believe Tim is. But Nick has gone through the stats and he thinks length is very important.
RICH LERNER: We have Marc back with us. Just curious, what is the level of importance of The Presidents Cup in your homeland of Australia?
MARC LEISHMAN: It's really important. It's probably the only team competition that we really get to play in. We obviously don't get to play The Ryder Cup. The Presidents Cup, I was there in 1998 watching, and watching on TV and when it was at Royal Melbourne again a couple of years ago. It's exciting for us to have three Australians on the team, and for me personally, it's huge. It was a big goal of mine for the last few years to get on this team, relying on a captain's pick wasn't ideal, but to be lucky enough for Nick to pick me was awesome.
FRANK NOBILO: It has been a busy year for you, in the hunt at Augusta, new addition to the family and now you're a new addition to the International Team, what do you feel that you can bring to this year's team?
MARC LEISHMAN: I've played in some big events this year and feel like I played pretty well around Memorial, so I feel like I'm a seasoned match player, I haven't played it for a few years, but played it quite a bit at home in Australia as an amateur growing up, so hopefully I can use my experience in that to get a few scalps.
RICH LERNER: Thank you, Marc Leishman of Australia, Brendon de Jonge of Zimbabwe of the two captain's choices. How do you think in general Nick Price did?
FRANK NOBILO: He did good. You could argue perhaps going down to Ogilvie, but the International Team, if they were vulnerable, it was in the foursomes.
RICH LERNER: Now the U.S. Team, Tiger making his eighth Presidents Cup appearance; Snedeker playing for the first time, 11th in 39 the two years ago, and Tiger was a captain's choice two years ago. Phil has been on every team going back to 1994, and Dufner, a rookie, as well; though keep in mind he played the Ryder Cup, as did Brandt Snedeker, rounding out the U.S. Team. Well, let's find out. Here again is Fred Couples, Fred, which two players are you going with?
FRED COUPLES: First I'd like to congratulate Marc and Brendon for being chosen. You know, I have done this for the third time now and I've gone with a guy, Webb Simpson for my first pick, who was inside the Top 10 in points for two full years. And then as you know, Zach Johnson birdied 8 and 9 to solidify them being on the team, but to push Webb to No. 11. And so I just felt like Webb was going to be on this team the whole time and that's why I chose Webb. And then my second pick, I think came from - I had great help from my team and probably all of the United States and every golfer out there that I'm going to go with Jordan Spieth.
I feel like two years ago, I left Keegan Bradley off the team who was a PGA champ and also a Byron Nelson champ, and wore on me a little bit, especially when I saw him play at the Ryder Cup last year. I was one of Davis's assistants and I talked to Keegan a little bit and I told him that unlike what I did to you by not picking you, I'm going with the young guy, and our whole team is excited. We have a great team, but to pick Jordan I think was the right move, and Jordan has had an incredible year with really only one crack at it this year. So those are the picks.
RICH LERNER: Jim Furyk has played in 15 straight International Team competitions, and he's played well of late with four Top 10 finishes in his last five starts, including a runner up at the PGA Championship. How difficult was the phone call to Furyk?
FRED COUPLES: Well, you know what, Jimmy, I've texted Jimmy, I've not talked to him yet. I told him last night that he wasn't on the team through a text; that I would talk to him today, just because I just couldn't handle it to be honest with you. Two years ago, it was a lot easier. This time, the two guys that I wanted dearly to be on the team were Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk. That's not to say I didn't want any of the other 11 or 12 guys. Those are really my guys. I'm a little older than them, and to tell you - I told Steve Stricker that he was going to be on the team and then he told me, no, I don't want to be picked, I want to make your team; and so he did.
And getting back to Jimmy, as soon as we are done here, I'll call him. But I took the easy way out and sent him a text and I just felt like it was just a spot that was unfortunate for him not to be chosen. Tabitha is from Ohio; they met at Ohio - the whole thing was not fun; Jim Furyk has won at Memorial. I know all the stats. But at the same time, Jordan deserves to be on the team and Webb Simpson is a class act, great player. And my assistant captains, Love and Haas, we went through this with several of the players, I'm not going to say I talked to all ten players, but I talked to 80 percent of them, and they felt like those picks were phenomenal. Dustin Johnson I also left off the team. As Nick Price says, you get two picks and those are who we are going with.
RICH LERNER: We are joined now by Webb Simpson, 3 2 in 2011 Presidents Cup team. You won all three points with Bubba Watson who is not, as we said on this team. Congratulations on the selection. Wondering if Freddie were to come to you and say, who are you most comfortable playing alongside now that Bubba is not here, which one or two guys come to mind?
WEBB SIMPSON: Well, you know, I just want to say thanks to Freddie and Davis and Jay and the American Team for believing in me, and I'm so excited, playing in Australia and coming out victorious was so much fun. You know, I can't think of anybody I would rather play with than Bill Haas. We are Wake Forest alumni, we played a lot of practice rounds with Bill, but quite honestly, I'm comfortable playing with anybody. Bill and I have done a little bit of texting, but I'm a guy I feel like I can go out with anyone and feel comfortable with. I'm excited to get there and play some practice rounds and see what the guys want to do.
FRANK NOBILO: Your last nine starts have been solid, not quite what you had last year, but what parts of your game are you happy with, and are there any parts of your game that are giving you concern?
WEBB SIMPSON: The last month, the best part of my game has been the short game. I really putted the ball well and chipped the ball well. I would say what I've been struggling with is my iron game which is what's been great the last couple years. The game is there I feel like it's just not coming together for four weeks or for four rounds, and so that's what we are searching for to see what the missing link is.
RICH LERNER: Webb, thank you, and congratulations, we'll see you next week at the BMW on the road to the FedEx Cup and then down the road a bit at the Presidents Cup. Thank you Webb Simpson. We are joined now by the kid, all grown up, Jordan Spieth, Jordan, congratulations, this is some heady stuff, you start here with no status and now you're on the Presidents Cup team, you and I have spoken, I know your family loves team sports, your brother, Steven, is playing some basketball at Brown; dad played college baseball; mom played college basketball; you were unbeaten in 2011 at the Walker Cup. What do you enjoy about the team game and about match play?
JORDAN SPIETH: Well, you know, it's a different style. You get to get up there and get a little more fired up, and you have the support of another guy right next to you. Just trying to bring the level of comfort - I grew up playing a lot of team sports, really enjoyed that. As far as match play goes, it's fun playing one on one. There's just a lot more thinking that goes into it, preparing for each shot. When you combine the two on a stage like The Presidents Cup, I'm just super stoked and happy I woke up this morning and it wasn't a dream.
FRANK NOBILO: All your achievements in your rookie year, quite phenomenal really, how do you explain that to the mere mortals, people that didn't know Jordan Spieth at the start of the year and now all of a sudden know who you are? Can you explain what's happened this year?
JORDAN SPIETH: No, honestly, it's just a lot of confidence in myself, just a lot of belief. Tough leaving school early, a school that I love. It was leaving a very comfortable place to kind of come into the unknown. I just had a lot of great support, obviously just a great support group. I owe it all to my family and friends and instructor and whatnot, the list goes on and on. But I just had a lot of people that believed in me which kind of helped increase the belief in myself, just kind of came out a little uncomfortable honestly. I don't really know how to explain it, why I felt uncomfortable, feeling stressed starting out; a lot of the guys, the veterans, were helpful to me starting out on TOUR and I think that was a key in kind of settling in and kind of playing my game.
NICK PRICE: I just felt that the Presidents Cup has not been as exciting over the past four Presidents Cups as the Ryder Cup. There's a few occasions that we did really well, the International Team, but it's always outside of America - inaudible - the U.S. Team now is a lot stronger than the Presidents Cup has been over the past, say, five or six Presidents Cups. Having said that, 18 hole match play as we all know is very unpredictable and it's all about momentum. But I've always felt that the big difference between the Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup, you should maybe be on a more apples to apples basis. But the Commissioner didn't want to do anything about it, and you know, with the changes for this year I'm just getting on with it and we are going to do the best we can with the given points structure and maybe next year we can go at it a little harder.
FRED COUPLES: The weather can be very, very nice in September, early October, and we are hoping the course plays fast, and this year - hitting some long irons and 3 woods off tees where we are hitting drivers 15 years ago and the ball is plugging. But the greens are always phenomenal. The PGA Tour sets up the course for Nick and I and the teams, and I believe the 14th is going to be a driver, maybe drive it on the green, but really a phenomenal golf course. I believe any golf course suits a long hitter and any golf course also suits a good putter. And Memorial, most of the winners are always great, great players and I think these will be great finishing holes.
MODERATOR: Welcome to Muirfield Village Golf Club, those of you who played golf, hope you enjoyed your day today. We are very excited to have you here in the room and on the phone to talk with our two captains about their just named captain's picks for The Presidents Cup 2013. If you have questions for the captain's picks and the Fred who are also on the phone.
Q. Fred, you said you got help from America in picking Jordan, did you feel any pressure? I know you were being funny, but how much did that groundswell effect you, if at all?
FRED COUPLES: Well, that's a great question. I would say that a little effect, but Jordan has been a top player the whole year. Really when you look at it, Webb, Jordan, Dustin, Steve Stricker all battling it out, and when you get down to it, it's a team thing. So whatever you say right now, whatever I say, is not a slight on Jim Furyk. He just didn't make it. He's been on every team that I've ever been on, and I wanted him on the team badly. But in this instance I just felt like Jordan Spieth has had an unbelievable year and he's going to be the next Jim Furyk, he's going to be on Ryder Cup teams and Presidents Cups teams forever. It was just - with Jordan and how well he's playing, and I feel like - said he could be on the team and there's no doubt.
Q. I know you said it was nothing against Jim, but, the way Jim finished or didn't finish, going back a year when he was in contention, did that play any effect at all in not picking him?
FRED COUPLES: No. No. There's no - for me personally, there's no real playing - it's obvious that Jordan played well last week. I think he finished third and his finish was phenomenal. But Jordan is an incredible golfer, a top shot maker. Jim Furyk has an incredible record at Memorial. He's won there. But you know, he played well at the PGA, better than well, he almost won it, fought for four straight rounds. But no, I'm not one of those guys - a couple years ago, Bill Haas won the last tournament of the year and I told Bill, I said, you know, Bill, you've got to go out and win this, and if you do, I'm going to pick you. Now, oddly enough, he did, and Keegan played well that week, so there's no one shot here or there. Jim Furyk is a quality player, he finished in 10th two years ago in the points race, he could have easily been pushed out, but he didn't, and he went to Australia and went 5 0 and basically really won the Presidents Cup for us.
I feel like at this time, it's Jordan Spieth's time, I feel like Jim Furyk is a man, he understands it, it's no fun for him, it certainly isn't any fun for me but really today is about Webb and Jordan and they are two quality players. One happens to be 20 years old, which really is just an age, it doesn't really matter. I mean, he played with Phil Mickelson on Monday, not Sunday, and Phil texted me in the car and his words were exactly, "Dude, you've got to pick this guy." So obviously talent is talent and Jordan has a ton of talent.
Q. This might be a little overlap from your question from the Golf Channel, but why do you enjoy playing at Muirfield Village and coming to the Dublin area, and why do you think this is a course that's great for this event?
FRED COUPLES: Why do I like playing there? Well, for me, it's one of the greatest courses we play all year. It's a great facility. The fans there are always phenomenal; they come out on Tuesday and Wednesday. It's got a major feel to it, and of course it's Jack Nicklaus's property and of course a tournament he built with his name on it, that's my standpoint. Why do you think it's a great Presidents Cup course? I think if we get the right weather - well, you're going to see a lot of birdies no matter what kind of weather we get. But there will be 25,000 people out every day watching these great players on Nick's team and mine, and it's a great course for quality golf. Not that a lot of them aren't, but the Memorial Tournament and Muirfield golf club is a great course.
Q. Jack has captained these teams before and he'll be here I assume.
FRED COUPLES: Yeah.
Q. Will he be giving you advice?
FRED COUPLES: Well, Jack is the host, so he knows every player on both teams. So I'm sure he'll help Nick's guys out a little bit indirectly because they will talk to him and ask him. I'm hoping that he'll be able to come in and talk to the team and say hi. We are all going to see him the whole week long but I plan on having Jack come in and give a little speech and talk to the team. There won't be any course tips, but I don't know any player on either side that has not played Muirfield. But a lot of our guys have played, you know, 10, 15 years there. Tiger, Phil, Stricker, a couple of the other guys have played a lot of years in a row there, but it's always good to get help from Jack.
Q. Nick talked the other night about taking a hard look at recent form and possibly basing his picks on that. You're not going to be playing for another month, and I wondered if you looked hard at recent form or what period of time mattered to you the most on how these guys played?
FRED COUPLES: Well, first let's take this: Webb Simpson is one of my picks, and Webb is a great player. I've gotten to know Webb a little bit. There's some guys, you like the way they play, but Webb deserves to be on the team. He has been inside these numbers, and at no given time did I ever think of a scenario in the last three or four months that really Webb was not going to be on the team until Zach Johnson went birdie, birdie on the last two holes. And it was Steve Stricker that I was a little worried about, and Steve wanted to be in the Top 10, and he passed Webb and so did Zach. So there's my one pick.
So form didn't come into play, even if Webb finished last at Boston, I was still going to pick the 11th guy, which happened to be Webb Simpson. On Jordan's part, Jordan has been unbelievable all year. He's a kid that can shoot 65 on any given day, and you know we don't go by 62 on Monday at Boston. You go by all the others; he almost won at Wyndham; he did win at Des Moines. He's played well several rounds. The other part is, when you pick these things, you have to pick guys that you think they are going to pair well with. Jordan has caught a few eyes from some of the other guys on the team. So when you hesitate on one guy - I mean, Jim Furyk could come and play with five guys. Jordan, I didn't know, but there were a lot of guys jumping in line to play with Jordan. As a young player, he's got a lot of people's attention, but again, you know, you can't go wrong with Jordan Spieth and Webb Simpson. They are quality players.
Q. Brendon de Jonge was below a couple other guys in the final standings in the World Ranking, just what in your mind gave him the edge over the other two that you did not pick?
NICK PRICE: Well, I think his consistency, particularly in the last five, six months, Brendon has shown a lot of really consistent form. I like that he's always hit the ball left to right, which I think is one of the keys to playing at Memorial, or at Muirfield. You know, it was difficult. The hardest thing, too, it actually came down, the choices, for me, between Marc Leishman and Tim Clark. I spoke to a lot of the players on Monday and yesterday, and just about every single one of them felt that Brendon deserved a pick, and then we were trying to figure out who was going to be chosen out of the next two. You know, Brendon has just - he's getting ready to break through. I mean, he's 31, 32 years old now. He's in a situation where I think this may be a wonderful break for him, and I think he's going to be a great teammate. So, you know, we can debate amongst the three guys from here until eternity as to what you think and who you feel would be best, but you know, I had to make the decision yesterday, and I really think that, you know, out of the three guys, Brendon and Marc would probably end up playing Muirfield better than Tim does.
Q. I'd like to ask you about the Australian contingent, especially a guy like John Day; we know what Adam has done, and if Marc can add about the Australian contingent on this team, and how important it is to have them on the team.
NICK PRICE: Well, you know, Adam, in all of the meetings that we've had with the prospective team members has been really vocal and outspoken about how we try things and what we do a little differently than what has been done in the previous four or five Presidents Cups. Jason I've only got to know really well the last sort of three or four months, really, and spoken to him yesterday. We had a good chat on Monday as to who he felt strongly about choosing the team. And then Marc, I've just been texting backwards and forwards over the last sort of two months.
But, you know, these are three players - I mean, Adam has really reached or got over that hurdle I think of winning a major championship and doing it in such fine style this year at Augusta after a really tough loss at the British Open last year. So he is showing so much more confidence. He's really gone to the next level, and I think he's going to be a factor in major championships from here onwards. We saw Jason play well again at the Masters and again at the PGA, and you know, he's just - these two guys are wonderful players, and I think they are going to make Marc feel very much a part of the team. I haven't even looked at any of the pairings as to which way we are going to go yet. But I know Marc is as excited as Brendon to have been chosen. You know, it's going to be a tough job for us to win the Cup, but I think we have got a really strong team right now.
Q. How much do you want to be on a winning side given it's been a one way traffic, and a need for the international team so relevant -
NICK PRICE: I'm sorry, I missed half of that question.
MARC LEISHMAN: I was at the Presidents Cup in 1998 and I was watching it when the Internationals won at Royal Melbourne, and I was watching on TV last year, or two years ago, at Royal Melbourne when we lost. I definitely would like to be on the other end of that and be a part of that and contribute to a good win for the Internationals.
Q. And yourself, the last few weeks, it's a big thing for you; you must be pleased with how everything is going?
MARC LEISHMAN: Yeah, last week I had a solid finish when I really needed to. The PGA, obviously played well there and personally it's been a good month for me. We had a baby a couple of weeks ago, so things are going along well. You know, got a big month ahead of us with the rest of the Playoffs and obviously Muirfield Village in early October. So it's definitely a lot to look forward to.
Q. Fred, let me ask you, have you given any thought whatsoever to a rather strange position for you as captain of the U.S. side, if you lose, it's going to be better for The Presidents Cup; but obviously you don't want to lose, so have you given any thought to that scenario?
FRED COUPLES: No. No, I haven't thought about whether we are going to win or lose the Presidents Cup. I've been a part of the Presidents Cup playing it several times; I've been a part of the Ryder Cup playing it several times where we lost several times in a row, and we lost last year; I was an assistant. I don't think really that comes in your mind until the clinching putt is made, whether it's by the U.S. or by Nickie's International Team.
We have dominated it because I think when it started at the beginning, we played a lot of years in the United States and we played against unbelievable teams. I feel like we have an advantage because we play in the Ryder Cup and Nick's team or Greg's team or way back when, Gary Player's team, they do this every couple years, and my pairings are very simple. So the idea of thinking about it is really based on my team, who I'm going to put Jordan Spieth with, how Jordan is going to play, who Tiger is going to play with. But at no given time have I thought whether our team is going to win or lose or whether that would be good or bad for the Presidents Cup.
Q. With match play, what are you both hoping for from the fans, and I know it's a different atmosphere in the Dublin community; what are you hoping for the host community here in Dublin?
FRED COUPLES: For me personally, I'm going to start out by saying that I know all my players very, very well, but on the International Team, Adam Scott has been one of my all time favorites, and now Jason Day, those two guys. So the people in Ohio, while they probably see Jason Day walking around the streets, but you have Ernie Els who has been a friend forever, they are going to come out and see great golf. I know a lot of money is raised for charities, but they support us by coming out strong. I'm sure there will be a lot of people out Tuesday in the practice rounds, no Pro Am, and be ready for the matches Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
And part of the Presidents Cup thing is, they really know the International players as well as they do the American players; and yes, they are yelling 'USA' and they are rooting harder for our players. But at the same time, you know, from what I've seen and been a part of, they root plenty for the international players. I just see great golf. You have Jack Nicklaus hosting the event, and on a great course. Basically that's what I see coming up here in another month.
NICK PRICE: Sorry, I didn't get to hear what Fred had to say. My audio is really tough. The Ohio fans have always welcomed the PGA Tour with open arms, and I have great memories myself of playing in Ohio. I think it's a wonderful venue. It's a great fit for the Presidents Cup. Jack has done a phenomenal job of that golf course. All of the guys who play love playing in the tournament. We get treated so well. Over the years, we have just loved playing there so much. So I don't think we are going to see anything too different. Obviously as I'm going to explain to the players, there is going to be some bias toward the American players, but I think for us as international players, we play 95 percent of our golf outside of our home country, so we are used to that in many respects. But I'm just so looking forward to it. I think it's going to be a fabulous week, and I think the Ohio and Columbus golf fans are going to be treated to some wonderful golf.
Q. Speculation is already beginning, of course, Tiger and Dufner paired together; I know that's been talked about. When do you sort of really press into that?
FRED COUPLES: When do I start to think about that? Probably a week ago when I was talking to both these guys. You know, that's one of many teams. You know, I think Keegan and Phil are talked about - I'm not going to get into that. Tiger has his guys and there are guys who want to play with Tiger. It's not easy. I've done it before and I've done it well, and I've done it very poorly, which you don't need to play your best when you play with Tiger. You need to play good golf, solid golf, and let Tiger do the rest. I think sometimes when you get in those pairings, what you think is going to be easy and fun is very challenging when you have Tiger as a partner.
So Dufner can handle that, and they have talked about playing. But really, it's a day of - when I finally get to see Jordan and Webb and the guys, of just letting them relax and play, it's a very easy week. I want to make that - I can't emphasize that enough. When you go there, I let these guys play. If they want to play nine holes on Wednesday, because that's what they normally do, then they are going to play nine holes; if they want to relax more, they relax more. As far as worrying about the pairings, the pairings fall into place pretty easy. They tell me who they want to play with, and I go with that.
MODERATOR: Captains, Couples and Price, and our picks on the phone, thank you so much for your patience through our technical difficulties and we look forward to seeing you in less than a month.
The transcript for the above interview is courtesy of ASAP Sports.