TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Canada’s biggest golf tournament will have its biggest star.
Mike Weir was added to the Presidents Cup team as a wild-card pick by International team captain Gary Player on Monday, giving the event a boost as it goes to Canada for the first time.
Player also used a captain’s pick on Nick O’Hern, the only player to beat Tiger Woods twice in match play.
U.S. captain Jack Nicklaus took Lucas Glover, who was bumped out of the top 10 in the standings when Woody Austin finished second at Southern Hills; and Hunter Mahan, who has not finished out of the top 25 all summer.
The Presidents Cup will be played Sept. 27-30 at Royal Montreal. The Americans hold a 4-1-1 edge against an International team that is for every country outside Europe. They won 18 1/2-15 1/2 two years ago in Virginia when Chris DiMarco holed a 15-foot birdie putt to beat Stuart Appleby on the final hole of the final singles match.
Weir has not won since the 2004 Nissan Open, and he has spent much of the last two seasons recovering from a nagging neck injury and revamping his swing to take stress off his back. He finished in the top 20 at all three majors going into the PGA, but tweaked his neck at Firestone a week before the PGA, then opened with a 77 at Southern Hills and missed the cut.
Weir said he was on “pins and needles” over the weekend, wondering if Player would choose him.
“It was tough the last couple of weeks,” Weir said. “I ran into a little bit of bad luck, pulling a neck muscle at Firestone. I always thought highly of the Presidents Cup. I felt like sometimes I was maybe trying too hard. Now that Gary made me a selection, maybe I’ll relax and play some good golf.”
Weir has an 8-6-0 record in three previous trips to the Presidents Cup.
Ten players earned their spots on both teams through PGA Tour earnings (U.S. team) and the world rankings (International).
PGA champion Tiger Woods led U.S. qualifying for the fourth straight year, followed by Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson, Charles Howell III, David Toms, Scott Verplank, Steve Stricker, Stewart Cink and Austin.
Ernie Els, who missed the last Presidents Cup recovering from knee surgery, led International team qualifying. Joining him are Adam Scott, Vijay Singh, Geoff Ogilvy, Rory Sabbatini, K.J. Choi, Retief Goosen, Angel Cabrera, Trevor Immelman and Stuart Appleby, whose tie for 12th at Southern Hills gave him just enough points to qualify.
Stephen Ames of Trinidad & Tobago, who lives in Calgary and is a Canadian citizen, could have earned a spot on the team by finishing fourth at the PGA Championship. He played in the final group with Woods and started out two shots behind until fading to a 76.
Ames finished 16th in the standings, while Weir was 20th.
But even Ames has said he is more of an adopted Canadian, and that Weir was the player who could drive interest in the matches.
It will be the first team for Glover, whose lone PGA Tour victory came two years ago at Disney. He was in good shape to make the Ryder Cup team last year until he put too much pressure on himself to make the team and didn’t earn a single point the final four months.
Mahan turned his season around with a 63 during U.S. Open qualifying, and he hasn’t stopped.
He won the Travelers Championship in Hartford for his first PGA Tour victory, got into contention the next three weeks (including the British Open) and moved up to No. 14 in the standings.
Among those that Players skipped to take Weir were Andres Romero of Argentina, who finished third at the British Open and won the next week in Germany for his first European Tour victory.
It was the second straight time Player had gone into the 20s in the standings for a captain’s pick. Two years ago, he took Immelman of South Africa at No. 22.