The 2013 Presidents Cup marks the third time that Couples will serve as captain. He debuted as captain in 2009 and led the United States Team to victories that year and also in 2011. Couples has appeared four times (1994, 1996, 1998, 2005) as a player.
2013 Captain's Assistants: Jay Haas, Davis Love III
2013 Team Roster:
Note: Player analysis provided by Fred Albers, SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.
With five PGA TOUR wins in 2013, he is the best player in the world and brings the experience of seven previous trips to The Presidents Cup with a 20-14-1 record. You wonder if he will once again be paired with Steve Stricker or has that union gotten a little stale after a disappointing Ryder Cup last year? My guess is you will see the two reunited and they will be very successful.
A rib injury derailed a season that was off to a great start on the West Coast. He’s a two-time winner on the PGA TOUR this year and making his Presidents Cup debut. Snedeker does everything very quickly, from pace of play to swing tempo to putting stroke. You would think the International team would use a deliberate pace of play when matched against Brandt. He led the PGA TOUR in strokes gained-putting last year and would match well with every U.S. Team member.
A few years ago it seemed problematic who should be paired with Phil. That is no longer an issue. He is a team leader who matches well with young players. Mickelson has become a mentor and is not afraid to challenge rookies to perform their best. He’s also great with the caustic comment that keeps everyone loose in the team room. Mickelson is the perfect combination of a future captain and team leader who is still capable of great golf. He’ll be paired with a young player who likes to be aggressive and gamble on shots. That choice is not just limited to Keegan Bradley.
Matt is your “Steady Eddie.” I don’t think I have ever talked to him when he’s in a bad mood, even after difficult rounds. He is very much a family man and that seems to balance out the occasional frustration from a bad round. Kuchar is a player with an even disposition who even walks away from bad holes with a smile on his face. In a match play format, it is critical to never get too high or low and Kuchar is perfect for that scenario. Don’t believe me? Remind yourself who is the defending champion at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.
Has had a very curious season with just four Top 10 finishes. Of course one of those was a win at the PGA Championship and three of the Top 10s have come in the last month. Dufner has been slowed by erratic putting but greatly improved on the green in his recent run. He is another player with an even disposition who shows well in match play.
When Bradley was shaking on the first tee of last year’s Ryder Cup, Mickelson got in his face and told him was expecting to hit wedge into the opening hole in foursomes. Not an eight iron, not a nine iron … a wedge. Bradley responded with a mammoth drive that gave Mickelson a sand wedge for the approach. Keegan is a player who responds to a challenge.
Mr. Nice Guy. I sometimes think people have the wrong perception of Stricker. He is as nice a person as you will ever meet but don’t think for one second he doesn’t have fire in the belly during competition. It took me several years to understand how intense Stricker is during a round. He has a temper, gets mad and can burn with frustration while play is in progress. Respected by everyone from fellow players to media to the golfing public. Has an 11-8-0 record in The Presidents Cup and at age 46, might be making his last appearance in this tournament as a player. He should be a future captain.
Has a big game that shows well on big golf courses. A winner at places like Riviera and Congressional Country Clubs. Haas received a tip from Brad Faxon this season: “Look and go.” He was spending too much time looking at putts and analyzing them instead of letting his athleticism control the stroke. This is his second straight Presidents Cup team. He was 1-3-1 in 2011 and the experience from Royal Melbourne will benefit him at Muirfield Village.
Was bumped out of last year’s Ryder Cup at the last second and did not make the team. That alone should fire his engines. Hunter has greatly improved his short game in the past couple years and is very good at match play. He is a former Accenture Match Play champion and was runner-up to Matt Kuchar this year.
This is a man with correct priorities. Family first. Johnson missed The Barclays so he could be at his brother’s wedding and dropped out of the Top 10 automatic qualifiers. He had to play well at the Deutsche Bank Championship to make the team and responded with a 25-foot birdie on the 72nd hole to finish 10th in the standings and make the team. Zach is another very steady player who is excellent at match play.
Webb Simpson (Captain's Pick)
Johnson birdied the last two holes at Deutsche Bank to bump Webb out of the Top 10. Fred Couples said it was only right for Simpson to be on the team. He’s played a heavy schedule this year with 23 events that resulted in four Top 10s and 13 Top 25 finishes, including a playoff loss at the RBC Heritage. Would be a natural pairing with fellow Wake Forest alumnus Bill Haas. Left TPC Boston complaining of a neck injury so his health will be monitored.
Jordan Spieth (Captain's Pick)
Is building a reputation as quite the closer in his PGA TOUR rookie season. Spieth averages 69.63 in the final round, ranking sixth best on TOUR. Spieth holed out from a greenside bunker on the 72nd hole to force a playoff at the John Deere Classic and went on to win for the first time on TOUR … at age 19. He closed out the Deutsche Bank Championship with a birdie-birdie-birdie-eagle finish to shoot 62. Couples should have no hesitation placing Spieth deep in his lineup for Sunday’s singles. Jordan was undefeated in his only appearance at the Walker Cup.
The top 10 U.S. players who earned the most official PGA TOUR money beginning with the 2011 TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola through the 2013 Deutsche Bank Championships (ending Monday, Sept. 2), weighted as follows:
2011-2012: $1 = 1 point
2013: $1 = 2 points