These Guys Aren't Out of Hoosiers Yet

Some fun stuff from Thomas Boswell's Presidents Cup column:

In a year or two, perhaps we'll know whether this week at RTJ, with the touch of Jack and Barbara Nicklaus setting the tone, will actually transform the Americans into a true team. One player brought a sports page to read to the final interviews because he doubted he'd be asked questions and did a squeaky imitation of Nicklaus's voice. These guys aren't out of "Hoosiers" yet.

But this event might be a turning point. This time, it was the U.S. team at a victory podium doing its impromptu teasing skits as Nicklaus played father-figure moderator.

If one central U.S. player has to be melded with the rest of the team by a strong, even sarcastic captain's hand, it's Mickelson. And maybe only Nicklaus has the stature to do it.

Mickelson was asked about the indelible moment when, after making a five-foot birdie putt on the 18th to square his match with Angel Cabrera, he celebrated as though he thought he'd just won the Presidents Cup -- because he thought he had.

"I thought that that was it. I thought that we had won because I am an idiot and didn't read the rules of the game," Mickelson said. At that, the whole team melted in laughter.

"Better yet," Mickelson said, fingering himself further, "Captain Nicklaus told me on the 15th hole that there were no ties. Didn't quite get it. Still didn't get it."

 "I thought you understood," Nicklaus said.

"You would think I would," Mickelson said.

"I told you there were no ties and you had to play to a conclusion," Nicklaus said, mischievously.

"Yeah, I thought you meant, 'Don't go for the tie. Go for the win.' "

More gales of delighted team laughter.

"Okay," Mickelson said sheepishly, "I got it, I got it."