International golfer Geoff Ogilvy understands why Tiger Woods will play in the Presidents Cup; he just wonders why U.S. captain Fred Couples picked him so early and left New England native, PGA champ Keegan Bradley, off the squad.
“You can’t ever say that picking Tiger Woods is a bad selection. But…I don’t agree with the way [Couples] picked him, announcing it months early,” Ogilvy told reporters on a conference call Wednesday night. “Keegan Bradley is the obvious one, he’s won two tournaments this year, one of them being a major, and he hasn’t made the team, which is astonishing really that you can do that in a year and not make the team.”
Couples has come under considerable scrutiny since announcing weeks before he had to that the winless and oft-injured Woods would make the trip to Australia for next month’s competition. He made it official last month when he tapped Woods and Tour Championship winner Bill Haas to round out his 12-man team, relegating two-time victor Bradley to the sidelines.
Ogilvy’s second-guessing came on the heels of International captain Greg Norman slamming Couples for giving Woods a free pass.
“I can understand the name of a Tiger Woods and his history of what he’s done on the golf course,” Norman told the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press earlier this week. “But I pick the guys who I think are ready to get in there and play and have performed to the highest levels leading up to it.”
Couples returned the jab, suggesting that Norman’s choices were not above reproach and taking a dig at one of his players as well.
“Robert Allenby is his pick, and Aaron Baddeley, and they’re Australians and I think they’re great picks,” Couples told the Associated Press after his Champions Tour win last week. “But I think I can sit here and say Robert Allenby hasn’t won a tournament in 10 years.”
Not quite, since Allenby won two worldwide events in 2009, including the Australian PGA Championship. His last PGA Tour win was in 2001.
In any case, Ogilvy reiterated his support for Bradley, the New England golfer with two tour wins in his rookie season as well as Wednesday’s PGA Grand Slam triumph.
“I’m disappointed for Keegan Bradley. It’s amazing that you can have the year that he’s had and not make the team,” said Ogilvy, who credited his play at Boston’s Deutsche Bank Championship (T25 finish at 6-under) with helping him make the Presidents Cup. “I’m not going to stand up and say Tiger is a horrible pick, but I’m going to say it’s very disappointing that Keegan Bradley doesn’t get to play.”
Bradley could still make it Down Under if Steve Stricker’s bad neck forced him to withdraw.