Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I'm Going to Miss Captain Jack

Fred Couples is your new President's Cup captain for 2009! Greg Norman is your new International captain for 2009.

Although I think I am going to miss Captain Nicklaus and hearing the players rave about playing for the best player of all time (until Tiger hits 19 at least), Fred Couples will hopefully be a blast as captain. Fred, in Golf World, made apparent his potentially unique approach to the job:

And look for Couples to continue his not-so-subtle lobbying for a captaincy in the Ryder or Presidents cups. Even if he gets one of the jobs on his terms -- golf buddy Michael Jordan and comedian Robin Williams as assistants; no official team functions at night -- Couples knows he would still be under the kind of public scrutiny he has detested. "Maybe so," he says, "But it would still be a blast."
Please let this happen!

Freddy sounds a lot more tempered in the PGA Tour press release, but still, he is beaming with excitement:
“It’s truly an honor to be named U.S. Captain, and I have the challenge of following in the steps of Jack Nicklaus, Ken Venturi, Arnold Palmer and Hale Irwin, who were all tremendous leaders of the U.S. Team,” Couples said. “Starting with the first Presidents Cup in 1994, I have had the privilege of playing on four U.S. Teams and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience each time. We have very few opportunities to play together in team events, and The Presidents Cup has grown into a great event presenting the best players in an atmosphere of great sportsmanship. Making the transition from player to Captain is something I am very excited about.”
True, we have few opportunities for these types of team competitions, but Americans are playing for their country every year. Still, Captain Couples is a guy who has a passion for the format and I'm excited to see how unconventional he can be in his approach.

Greg Norman as the International captain is a bizarre choice. After all, Norman and Tim Finchem have - to be kind - a frayed relationship. From the World Tour/WGC brew ha ha in 1994 to calling for the Tour's books to be made public, Norman has been a thorn in the side of the Commish. For Finchem to have this quote in the press conference either indicates that somehow everything has been put to the side, or someone has drugged the Commissioner.
“I am absolutely delighted to introduce these two great players as the new Presidents Cup Captains,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. “While it may not be easy to replace two legends such as Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, I know both Fred and Greg step into this role with a strong passion, commitment and desire to continue the outstanding legacy Jack, Gary and all the previous Captains have created for The Presidents Cup.”
It should be a fun run to 2009!

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