Couples Says Tiger Needs To Play

Fred Couples is in a tight spot. While it’s hard to deny the best player of the last ten years a spot on his President’s Cup team, Tiger simply isn’t half the man he used to be.  There’s a shadow hanging over him—and that’s the lack of playing time. So Fred seems to be trying to extricate himself from the abyss by saying that if Tiger wants to get on the team, he’s got to play more.

Couples has texted Woods but not spoken to him. He has spoken to Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, since Tiger missed the cut at the PGA and says that Woods is “very excited” about the prospect of playing.

“I texted him before Bridgestone, ‘I’ll be watching,’ ” Couples said. “He goes, ‘yeah I know you’ll be watching, I want to be on that team.’ So I said, ‘you’ll be on that team.’ “

Along those lines, Couples told Steinberg, “We’re going to figure out a way to get this done.”

Still, there is one condition.

“In my opinion for him to play I think he needs to play a little bit,” Couples said. “He just can’t show up the week before in Australia, and I have made it clear that whoever I pick will be playing in the Australian Open the week before and he’s committed to playing already.”

If Tiger has any feelings of friendship for Fred Couples, he’ll pull himself out of consideration. Tiger could claim that his knees just aren’t up to the strain of playing two weeks in a row, and I think people would respect him for that. That’d leave Couples free to put Keegan Bradley on the team, which in my mind offers less risk (but also potentially less reward).

But Tiger wont’ do that. He’s all about Tiger, and I’m sure he thinks a good performance at the President’s Cup will polish his tarnished image. There’s more potential upside for him: If he plays well, the buzz starts again. If he plays poorly, or just average, he’s no worse off.

Couples on the other hand risks a lot. If he uses a Captains’ pick on an obviously slumping Tiger, and Tiger doesn’t come through, Couples loses. Golf pundits will wonder why Couples didn’t pick Keegan Bradley (or anyone else). Worse, if the US team loses, the second guessing will make Couples the new Hal Sutton. On the other hand, if Tiger plays well, Couples gets no credit (“of course he had to take Tiger—it was a no brainer”). A US win in the wake of a Tiger resurgence becomes Tiger’s win. A US loss in the wake of a Tiger slump becomes Couples’ loss.

I’ve long been a fan of Fred Couples. I hope this works out for him.

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3 thoughts on “Couples Says Tiger Needs To Play”

  1. At this time Tiger is not going to be a good assett to the President’s cup team. He has just come off an injury and missed the cut at the PGA. The only thing that would change my mind is if Tiger started playing some tournaments and playing well.

  2. Yes I agree with Couples that Tiger needs more golf under his belt if he is to play in the Presidents Cup team.

    His form just hasn’t been good enough and he would probably be more of a liability than an asset at this stage. If he comes back and plays some good tournaments then he gives Couples a chance to pick up based on current form, not history.

  3. Well, I guess Freddie wasn’t so serious about that – he just named Tiger to the team – 32 days before the deadline.

    Why even say this in the first place Fred?  You now just look like a joke.  I might even think that picking Tiger is right (I just can’t make up my mind on it) – I guess I wanted to see some more play. 

    I hope he comes through for you, because I suppose that Keegan and Rickie are on the bubble now for you, – what are you going to do if they both come on strong?  What if Bill Hass gets pushed out of a lock – you going to pick him over Keegan – that won’t look to bad since Jay is the co-captain, huh,


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