Tiger Woods has named his four captain's picks to head to Royal Melbourne – but there's one name that's caused controversy. Two of our writers discuss
In the most (and maybe first) dramatic announcing of the American captain’s picks for the Presidents Cup Tiger Woods went with Tony Finau, Gary Woodland, Patrick Reed and, err, himself. Apparently Rickie Fowler was the next on the list. It’s Reed’s pick that has got tongues wagging – so was it the right choice?
‘Picking Patrick Reed is an absolute no brainer – he’s Captain America!’
There are players who get team competition and players who don’t. You can see their chests puff out as soon as they’re playing for their mates or their country and there are others who probably don’t want to be there, writes Mark Townsend.
There might not be another American player in recent times who fits the first mould more than Patrick Reed. Picking him is an absolute no brainer, he’s Captain America for god’s sake and, whatever you might think or read, he and Woods get on.
Reed is playing in Turkey this week so his quote was read out: “I live for events like Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup. I enjoy every moment of the competition and the fans and playing for our country. It means so much to me to be a part of this team. I’m going to do everything I can to help the US bring home the Presidents Cup.”
Normally this is just a bit of bluster, most likely written by the player’s manager, in Reed’s case you can almost hear him say the words out loud.
When push comes to shove, be it at Royal Melbourne or Whistling Straits next year, he’s precisely who you want by your side and who you want to send out early doors in the singles, even if you don’t massively get on.
“I don’t care if I like the person I’m paired with or if the person likes me as long as it works and it sets up the team for success.”
You can’t knock him for his honesty.
‘Was I the only person who saw Reed blow up at the end of last year’s Ryder Cup?’
Patrick Reed threw his whole team under the bus – not only in the post-match press conference but to the New York Times long before the dust had settled, writes Alex Perry.
Woods has decided that Reed’s disruptive influence isn’t a concern for him but I don’t see how it can’t be. Finau, another pick and the most genial of characters, came out and said Reed was “full of s***” after his Paris shenanigans.
But does being liked matter? Certainly not to Reed or Tiger.
Mickelson I get, despite his win in Mexico, for a variety of reasons, from his poor record in team events to his volatile relationship with Woods down the years.
Fowler is a big surprise, while Na and Kisner can feel hard done by. But I’ll never understand why Spieth is not on his way to Melbourne.
At 26 Spieth is an important factor in Team USA’s bid to make the Ryder Cup competitive again. The man has played in every Presidents and Ryder Cup since his debut in 2013 and sat out just two sessions in that time. Two. Out of 30.
Does form matter? Of course it doesn’t. This is the most one-sided competition in the history of the sport – and Spieth is a three-time major champion, not a 14-handicap.
Woods has chosen form over team harmony, but then perhaps that doesn’t matter to the man who spent the dominant part of his career as a loner.