The most exciting thing about the press conference? Counting the empty seats.
Sheesh, how about some seat fillers next time, Ty? Or maybe having this at a location where the golf media might actually be present, like the third largest market in the country, Chicago?
Either way, you have to love Captain Norman picking Adam Scott.
Norman, Couples announce captains’ picks for The Presidents Cup 2009
Norman picks Ishikawa, Scott; Glover, Mahan get nod from Couples
WASHINGTON, D.C. September 8, 2009
Exactly one month from the start of competition at The Presidents Cup 2009, the final four players for the event were determined as International Team Captain Greg Norman and U.S. Team Captain Fred Couples each announced their captains’ picks. At a press conference today at the National Press Club, prior to a personal visit with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, Norman chose Australia’s Adam Scott and Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa, and Couples selected Lucas Glover and Hunter Mahan. With these picks, each team has exactly 32 previous Presidents Cup appearances amongst its members.
The Presidents Cup returns to U.S. soil and will be contested on the West Coast for the first time, October 6-11 at Harding Park Golf Course in San Francisco, Calif.
International Team Captain’s Picks
The top-10 international players (excluding those eligible for the European Ryder Cup Team) from the Official World Golf Ranking after the conclusion of the PGA Championship (Aug. 17) automatically qualified for the International Team. Scott was 14th in the International Team standings and Ishikawa was 20th when the PGA Championship ended. Ishikawa won two days ago on the Japan PGA Tour when he captured the Fujisankei Classic. Using the current Official World Golf Ranking, Ishikawa would be ranked No. 13 for the International Team and Scott would be No. 16.
At the age of 17 years, 11 months and 20 days, Ishikawa’s win on Sunday was his third on the Japan Golf Tour this season, vaulting him to No. 47 in the Official World Golf Ranking and making him the youngest player ever to reach the top 50 in the World Ranking (a record previously held by Rory McIlroy). Ishikawa is also now top of the Japan Golf Tour Money List and is the leading Japan golfer in the World Ranking, having overtaken Shingo Katayama.
Ishikawa’s other wins on the Japan Golf Tour in 2009 came at the Gateway to the Open Mizuno Open Yomiuri Classic in June and the Sun Chlorella Classic in August. Now a five-time winner, the Saitama-born teenager won his Japan Golf Tour debut as an amateur in May 2007, when he won the Munsingwear Open KSB Cup at the age of 15 years, 8 months. Ishikawa turned professional in 2008 and captured his second Japan Golf Tour title at the Mmynavi ABC Championship.
Ishikawa, who turns 18 on Sept. 17, joins five past President Cup participants who were named captain’s selections after finishing 20th or lower in the standings, although this is the first time in The Presidents Cup history that there has been a break between the top-10 players making the team and the captains’ picks: Tsukasa Watanabe (20th, 1994 International Team); Fulton Allem (22nd, 1994 International Team); Paul Azinger (24th, 2000 U.S. Team); Trevor Immelman (22nd, 2005 International Team); and Mike Weir (20th, 2007 International Team).
While Ishikawa will be making his Presidents Cup debut along with “rookies” Camilo Villegas and Y.E. Yang, Scott heads to Harding Park Golf Course with three past International Team appearances under his belt (2003, 2005, 2007). Scott, a six-time PGA TOUR winner with eight more wins worldwide, has scored eight points for the International Team in his career (7-6-2) and joins Geoff Ogilvy and Robert Allenby as the three Australian representatives on Norman’s squad.
Scott’s last victory was the 2008 EDS Byron Nelson Championship, and he has posted two top-25 finishes on the PGA TOUR this season, including a T2 at the Sony Open in Hawaii. He was T4 at the Barclays Scottish Open in July on the European Tour.
U.S. Team Captain’s Picks
The top-10 U.S. players who earned the most official PGA TOUR money from the 2007 Wyndham Championship through the 2009 PGA Championship (with money earned in 2009 counting as double) automatically made the U.S. Team. Glover and Mahan are captain’s picks for the second consecutive Presidents Cup. In 2007, Glover was 10th going into the PGA Championship, but was knocked down to 11th after Woody Austin’s second-place finish at the season’s final major vaulted him from 18th to 10th in the standings for the U.S. Team. Mahan finished 14th in the standings in 2007.
This year, Glover, the U.S. Open champion, finished No. 11 in the U.S. Team standings after the PGA Championship, and Mahan occupied position No. 13
In addition to his breakthrough major championship victory at Bethpage State Park in June, Glover has four other top-five finishes on his 2009 resume, including a solo fifth at the PGA Championship. Glover is currently ranked No. 14 in the FedExCup standings and leads the TOUR in total driving and total birdies (341). The U.S. Open was Glover’s second PGA TOUR win, following his victory at the 2005 FUNAI Classic at the Walt Disney World Resort.
A model of consistency throughout the 2009 season, Mahan is making his second consecutive appearance in The Presidents Cup. He has made 21-of-22 cuts on the year and notched six top 10s, highlighted by a solo second at the AT&T National in July and a T4 at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational last month. Mahan is ranked No. 21 in the FedExCup standings. He’s T4 in PGA TOUR scoring average (69.56) and T4 in total birdies (330). Mahan’s lone PGA TOUR victory came at the 2007 Travelers Championship.
Rex Hoggard is first to weigh in on Captain Norman's odd selection of Adam Scott.
Here's where it was written just recently by Brian Wacker that Norman didn't have Scott on his radar, nor had he spoken with him much.
And this from Jason Sobel:
Still, it speaks volumes of the state of Scott's game that the 17-year-old from Japan was actually a safer pick than the six-time PGA Tour champion.