Players and captains are expected to be in a relaxed atmosphere in team golf competitions such as the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup. Some believe when they are playing for their teams, there is less pressure than majors because there is no prize money on the line. Yeah right! Don’t tell that to United States assistant captain Fred Couples.
On Wednesday, Couples told Golf Channel it was “maybe the first time I ever wanted to throw up” when he heard that Woods was not physically ready to compete in foursome or four ball action on day three of the Presidents Cup this past Saturday from Melbourne, Australia.
Woods was fantastic on the first two days of the Presidents Cup. The American captain and native of Cypress, California, teamed up with Justin Thomas of Louisville, KY to beat Marc Leishman of Australia and Joaquin Niemann of Chile 4 & 3 in Thursday four ball play and then teamed up with Thomas again to beat Hideki Matsuyama of Japan and Byeong Hun An of South Korea 1 up in Friday foursome play.
Then on Saturday, it was just assumed that Woods would play at least 18 holes in either the four ball or foursome play, but shockingly he chose to sit out in each round. At the time, no definitive reason was given. There was no definitive reason given until now, when Couples went public with the news. Couples served as one of Woods’s assistants in Australia alongside Zach Johnson of Iowa City, IA and Steve Stricker of Edgerton, WI.
At the time of Woods’s decision, he stated he had faith in his teammates. Ok. But one cannot ignore the fact that at the time of Woods’s decision, the United States were down 6.5-3.5, and that Webb Simpson and Patrick Reed were not playing well at all together. During Saturday’s play, Reed’s caddie and brother-in-law Kessler Karain even got into a physical confrontation with a heckling spectator, and was banned from Sunday’s singles play.
It all ended well. The United States closed the gap to two points, as they trailed 10-8 heading into Sunday’s action. Then the Americans won the Presidents Cup by winning the tournament 16-14. To everyone’s relief Fred Couples did not throw up.