Picking struggling Tiger the right choice

Critics have lined up saying Tiger Woods has no business playing on the U.S. Presidents Cup squad....

Critics have lined up saying Tiger Woods has no business playing on the U.S. Presidents Cup squad. (REUTERS/Jeff Haynes)

TIM MCKAY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:44 PM ET

News flash: Fred Couples picks Tiger Woods for the U.S. Presidents Cup squad.

Hardly a surprise, but critics have lined up saying Woods has no business playing on the U.S. squad. He’s ranked 28th in U.S. Presidents Cup points, has slipped to 38th in the official world golf ranking, he hasn’t won in two years, he’s stealing a spot from the likes of Brandt Snedeker and Keegan Bradley and he should have turned down Couples’ offer ...

Really?

Nine and a half people out of 10 couldn’t pick Snedeker or Bradley out of a police lineup and while Tiger has struggled for the past couple of years, he, as Couples said, is “the best player in the world forever.”

Well, maybe not forever, but at least until someone that even comes close to his level of dominance comes around.

Maybe when the next Presidents Cup comes around in 2013 at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio — if Tiger still isn’t playing well — there would be an argument to leave him off the team, but not yet.

We, as Canadians, surely remember the 2007 Presidents Cup on home turf at Royal Montreal when the international side was soundly whacked by the U.S., 19 1/2 to 14 1/2, don’t we?

Sort of. We remember there was a Presidents Cup here and that our native son, Mike Weir, despite being part of a losing squad, was the hero with a 1-up victory over Woods in a thrilling Sunday match.

That year, Gary Player ruffled some feathers by making Weir a captain’s pick. Weir was ranked 20th in international points that season and 46th in world ranking. Does anyone remember that in picking Weir, Player had to leave off Andres Romero, who was hot into the leadup to that exhibition, or even fellow Canadian Stephen Ames?

The fact is everyone wanted to see Weir on that team, from the players to the fans to the all-important TV people.

The same applies to Tiger.

Imagine a Sunday match with the Cup on the line and Tiger has a shot to win it for the Americans. And maybe he’s going against Adam Scott and former caddie Steve Williams.

Such a story could be another defining moment in Woods’ career, just as it was for Weir.

Tiger at 15

This week marked the 15th anniversary of Tiger’s professional debut, on Aug. 29, 1996, at the Greater Milwaukee Open. It was an auspicious start in which he finished 60th, and we all know what happened after that.

“When I first walked on that tee I didn’t realize the magnitude of what I was embarking on,” Woods said on the Golf Channel’s Morning Drive Wednesday.

Woods was being interviewed with college friend Notah Begay, whose charity event Tiger is playing this week.

“I don’t think anybody was prepared for what he was going to do for golf. He transcended the game like ... Jackie Robinson, Michael Jordan, players like that ... Wayne Gretzky,” Begay said.

“PGA Tour players, I think, all send him a Christmas card every year because we’re playing for more money than we could have ever fathomed 16 years ago.”

Canadian victory

What a nice story to see a Canadian win at the Canadian Women’s Open on Sunday.

Caddie A.J. Eathorne got to taste some success on home soil looping for champion Brittany Lincicome.

Too bad TSN had to show it on tape delay because tee times were moved up because of the impending storm, though.


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