Golf roundup

Woods makes Presidents Cup

He's an early pick by captain Couples

Vijay Singh shot 65 and is one shot back at the rain-delayed Barclays. Fifty-one players did not finish the first round. Vijay Singh shot 65 and is one shot back at the rain-delayed Barclays. Fifty-one players did not finish the first round. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Associated Press / August 26, 2011

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US captain Fred Couples has told Tiger Woods that he decided to add him to the 12-member Presidents Cup team.

Couples took the drama out of the debate over whether Woods would be on the team, saying yesterday it’s already a done deal.

“I’ve told him that he’s going to be on the team,’’ Couples said just before a practice round for the Champions Tour Boeing Classic in Snoqualmie, Wash. “There is no reason for me to wait till Sept. 26 to pick Tiger. He’s the best player in the world forever.’’

Ten players automatically qualify based on points accumulated over the past two years. Couples has two captain’s picks to round out his squad, which will compete against International players at Royal Melbourne in Australia Nov. 14-20.

Woods, who is 28th on the Presidents Cup list, had a long summer layoff because of soreness in his left knee and left Achilles’ tendon. He played in two recent tournaments, finishing 37th in the Bridgestone Invitational in early August, then missing the cut the following week at the PGA Championship.

Woods wrote on his website this week that he had conversations with Couples about playing on the team and that “of course, I want to be on the team’’ that competes in Australia.

“Is he playing well right now? No. [But] he almost won [the Masters] four months ago, so you don’t do that by playing poor golf,’’ Couples said. “In my opinion, when you’re the best player in the world for 12 straight years and you’re not on a team, there’s something wrong.’’

Couples, initially unaware Woods had not qualified for this week’s FedEx Cup playoffs, told him by text message to find another tournament to play. Woods’s next scheduled appearance is not until the Australian Open, the week before the Presidents Cup, although he said he might add a PGA Tour event.

PGA - The start of the FedEx Cup playoffs was dampened - first by rain that halted the first round of The Barclays for nearly three hours, then from the gloomy forecast of Hurricane Irene. That left players and officials wondering when, how or even if they can finish the opening playoff event at Edison, N.J.

Of the early starters - who didn’t finish until mid-afternoon - Harrison Frazar led an onslaught of birdies on rain-softened Plainfield Country Club, shooting a 7-under-par 64.

Vijay Singh overcame a double bogey early in his round for a 65 and was tied for second with Jonathan Byrd. Adam Scott was in the group at 66. Nick Watney, the No. 1 seed as the race begins for the $10 million FedEx Cup bonus, was among those at 67.

When it was too dark to continue, 51 players did not finish the round. They were to return at 7:15 today, and the tee times for the second round were expected to be pushed back by about 30 minutes.

William McGirt, the last of the 125 players who qualified for the playoffs, had to stop after making his seventh birdie in an eight-hole stretch to get to 7 under through 11 holes. Matt Kuchar, the defending champion at The Barclays, also was at 7 under through 16 holes.

LPGA - Ai Miyazato and Pernilla Lindberg shot 7-under 65s in wet conditions in Mirabel, Quebec, to share the first-round lead in the Canadian Women’s Open, while Michelle Wie was two strokes back in her title defense.

Canadian Samantha Richdale opened with a 66, and Wie was at 67 along with Angela Stanford, Mi Hyun Kim, Song-Hee Sim, and Jenny Shin.

US Amateur - The last man to qualify for match play, Bobby Leopold, is hoping to be the last man standing at Erin, Wis. The Cranston, R.I., resident won two matches yesterday, knocking off the stroke-play medalist in the morning, then advancing to the Round of 16. Leopold beat medalist Gregor Main of Danville, Calif., 2 and 1, in the completion of his weather-delayed first-round match, then eliminated Harris English of Thomasville, Ga., 4 and 3.

If Leopold beats Jordan Russell this morning, he could face New Bedford native Peter Uihlein in the quarterfinals. Uihlein, the defending champion, beat Dylan Fritelli of South Africa in the second round, 5 and 4.