Nick Price has played in five Presidents Cup competitions (1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2003) but the 2013 edition marks his first as Team Captain.
2013 Captain's Assistants: Shigeki Maruyama, Mark McNulty, Tony Johnstone
2013 Team Roster:
Note: Player analysis provided by Fred Albers, SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.
One of my favorite stories of the year. He was lost in golf before The 2009 Presidents Cup at Harding Park. Greg Norman selected him with a Captain’s Pick and Scott’s confidence slowly returned. As Masters champ, Scott will be a leader of the International Team. Adam has been very aggressive hitting driver this summer, another indication of his confidence. He brings a very positive attitude to the golf course every day and his enthusiasm will fire up the Internationals.
Here’s a question to ponder: How has Day managed to win just a single TOUR event? He is blessed with oodles of talent and is a very hard worker. Slumped during 2012 but I attribute that to the birth of his son, Dash, during midsummer last year. Jason is a long hitter and good putter. A very dangerous opponent in match play. This will be his second Presidents Cup competition; he was 1-2-1 at Royal Melbourne.
I watched him play during the West Coast swing and pegged him as the early favorite to win the Masters. He has finished in the Top 10 four times in 17 events, including a pair of third-place finishes and a dozen Top 25s. He averages 4.07 birdies per round, which is second best on TOUR. If I am Fred Couples, I am very wary of Charl Schwartzel.
He only seems like he’s 60 years old because he has so much experience. Ernie is actually going to turn a young 44 in October. He’s played in seven Presidents Cup competitions, posting a 17-16-2 record, and is now a much better putter than he has been in the past. Nick Price will look at Ernie for both leadership and point production.
This man is the wild card of the International Team. He has neck and back issues but insists he will be fine next month. Oosthuizen will test-drive his health at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship the week before The Presidents Cup. When Louie is healthy, he is as good a player as any in the world.
I got to watch him play when paired with Tiger Woods in the first two rounds of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational and was impressed. He did not arrive in the United States with the fanfare of Ryo Ishikawa but is very, very talented. Hideki, despite being just 21 years old, was not intimidated being paired with Woods. Matsuyama posted Top 10 finishes in both the U.S. Open and Open Championship. He hits his short putts very aggressively. I don’t know if that’s an indication of his youth or his confidence.
He is one of six South Africans who automatically qualified for the International Team. Just 25 years old, he made the cut in 7 of 12 events including a T18 at the Masters. You would be mistaken to judge him solely on this year’s limited TOUR appearances where he ranks 181st in hitting greens in regulation and 181st in strokes gained-putting. He has only played as a professional since 2007.
One of my favorite players on the PGA TOUR. Always seems to have a great attitude and I get the feeling DeLaet is just starting to tap into his talent. It’s as if you can almost see his confidence growing. The Canadian finished second at The Barclays and third at the Deutsche Bank Championship to automatically qualify for the International Team. He is a ball-striking machine and will match well with any pairing.
Another South African who is making his first Presidents Cup appearance. He’s played in seven TOUR events this year, posting five Top 25 finishes including a T9 at the Bridgestone Invitational. Has shown the ability to play well under pressure with a final-round scoring average of 69.5 that would rank sixth best on the TOUR if he qualified.
Plays the game with a passion. Watch his facial expressions and body language and they will go from elation to anger to happiness … and that’s just in the course of a single shot. This will be his fourth Presidents Cup and will be looked upon for leadership on the International Team. The Argentine just sneaked into the BMW Championship, ranking 68th in FedExCup Playoff points. He is a very gifted player. I wonder if being the only Spanish-speaking player on the team makes for a difficult pairing?
Marc Leishman (Captain's Pick)
I spent Monday’s rain delay at the Deutsche Bank Championship in the players locker room and briefly watched a very intense conversation between Nick Price and Leishman. I did not linger and avoided eavesdropping but got the sense Price was challenging the Aussie. Leishman responded with birdies on two of his final four holes for a T16 finish to qualify for the BMW Championship and undoubtedly influence Price’s selection as a Captain’s Pick.
Brendon de Jonge (Captain's Pick)
Nosed out Tim Clark as Price’s final pick. Price noted Brendon’s experience and length at Muirfield Village as being part of the determining process. This number also had to be a huge determining factor: de Jonge leads the PGA TOUR in total birdies. He has made whopping 371 birdies this season, more than any other player.
The top 10 international players (excluding those eligible for the European Ryder Cup team) from the Official World Golf Ranking as of Sept. 2, 2013 (post-Deutsche Bank Championship), and two Captain’s selections made on Sept. 4, 2013.