I’m still scratching my head over International captain Greg Norman’s Presidents Cup picks. One is a junior golfer and the other is sinking faster than the Titanic. O.K., I’ll give Norman a pass on Ryo Ishikawa. I’d like to see someone with more mileage, but the 17-year-old from Japan has three wins this season on his nation’s tour, the last of which came only two weeks ago. His stock is rising, and Norman’s team is otherwise loaded with experience.
As for the second pick, Adam Scott (below), all I can say is: Wow! His World Ranking has sunk from No. 3 to 53; he’s missed the cut in 10 of his 18 starts on Tour this year; and his health (knee) is a concern. Scott is a tremendous guy to be around and possesses a scary amount of talent, but the Presidents Cup has two alternate-shot sessions, and he must play in at least one of them. How do you put a guy who’s 159th in driving accuracy, 165th in greens in regulation and 189th in putting in that situation? Scott is grinding on his game in Europe for two weeks, and will play in the Oct. 1-4 Turning Stone Resort Championship in preparation for the following week’s Cup matches at San Francisco’s Harding Park.
But why didn’t Norman take a serious look at his countryman Michael Sim, another kid whose stock is skyrocketing? This season Sim, 24, has three wins on the Nationwide tour and amazing stats: second in driving accuracy, eighth in GIR and first in putting. That’s ideal for team golf. I hope the cup will be a vote of confidence for Scott, and that he’ll regain his spot among the game’s best, but my gut tells me it may not work out.