On the strength of a final-round 65 at Firestone Country Club, Australian Adam Scott captured his first victory of the season and first World Golf Championships title at the Bridgestone Invitational, moving to No. 2 in the International Team standings for The Presidents Cup 2011. Scott trails fellow Australian Jason Day, who finished T4 at the Bridgestone Invitational, with just five events remaining before the 10 automatic berths on both the International and U.S. Presidents Cup Teams are determined following the BMW Championship (September 18).
The Presidents Cup returns to Australia and Royal Melbourne Golf Club for the first time since 1998 when the biennial matches are contested later this year, November 14-20. The two squads will be finalized after International Team Captain Greg Norman and U.S. Team Captain Fred Couples announce their captains’ selections following the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, which ends September 25.
Day and Scott, who both finished runner-up to South African Charl Schwartzel (No. 3) at the Masters in April, are the only Australians currently in the top 10 of the International Team standings. Following Schwartzel at No. 3 are South Koreans K.J. Choi and Kyung-tae Kim. Kim, playing in just his fourth World Golf Championships event, earned his best finish on the PGA TOUR with a T6 at the Bridgestone Invitational. South Africans Retief Goosen, Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen and Tim Clark occupy positions 6-9, respectively, while another Korean, Y.E. Yang, rounds out the top 10. On the heels of a T4 at the Bridgestone Invitational, the best finish of his career on the PGA TOUR, 19-year-old Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa improved from No. 13 to No. 11 in the International team standings. One of Norman’s captain’s selections for The Presidents Cup 2009, Ishikawa compiled a 3-2-0 record at Harding Park, including a 2-and-1 singles victory over Kenny Perry.
“This trio (Scott, Day and Ishikawa), two of whom needed a captain’s pick for the 2009 Presidents Cup, now look certain to have played their respective ways onto the International Team, led by Jason Day,” said Norman. “What I saw on the leaderboard of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational last week illustrates once again how the pendulum of golf continues to swing in a global direction.”
Recently announced by Captain Norman, Clark (No. 9) will serve as a captain’s assistant for The Presidents Cup 2011 as he will be sidelined from competition due to elbow surgery; therefore, Ishikawa occupies the last automatic berth at No. 11 while Australians Geoff Ogilvy and Robert Allenby will need to play their way onto the team at Nos. 12 and 13, respectively.
A look at the top 25 in the International Team standings through the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational:
Rank Player Country Avg Points Total Points Events
1 Jason Day* AUS 5.81 249.72 43
2 Adam Scott AUS 5.50 263.78 48
3 Charl Schwartzel* RSA 5.19 280.43 54
4 K.J. Choi KOR 4.73 245.83 52
5 Kyung-tae Kim* KOR 3.77 203.38 54
6 Retief Goosen RSA 3.61 194.78 54
7 Ernie Els RSA 3.46 186.96 54
8 Louis Oosthuizen* RSA 2.99 161.72 54
9 Tim Clark RSA 2.97 118.73 40 (will not compete due to injury)
10 Y.E. Yang KOR 2.96 159.58 54
11 Ryo Ishikawa JPN 2.95 159.52 54
12 Geoff Ogilvy AUS 2.93 149.21 51
13 Robert Allenby AUS 2.76 148.90 54
14 Aaron Baddeley* AUS 2.66 138.07 52
15 Rory Sabbatini RSA 2.59 139.89 54
16 Yuta Ikeda* JPN 2.29 123.74 54
17 Vijay Singh FIJ 2.16 101.43 47
18 Richard Green* AUS 2.14 102.80 48
19 Hiroyuki Fujita* JPN 2.03 109.63 54
20 Brendan Jones* AUS 2.00 79.94 40
21 Camilo Villegas COL 1.84 99.56 54
22 Tetsuji Hiratsuka* JPN 1.83 98.71 54
23 Angel Cabrera ARG 1.78 972.91 41
24 Thomas Aiken* RSA 1.74 94.00 54
25 John Senden* AUS 1.73 93.41 54
*player who would be competing in event for first time
Rickie Fowler, the top American at the Bridgestone Invitational with a T2, improved from No. 19 to No. 11 in the U.S. Team standings and is on the brink of earning an automatic berth for his first Presidents Cup appearance. Zach Johnson (T6) and David Toms (T9), the only other Americans to finish in the top 10 at Firestone, also improved their positions. Both veterans of The Presidents Cup with five appearances between them, Johnson improved from No. 15 to No. 14 while Toms moved off the “bubble” from No. 10 to No. 9. Steve Stricker continues to lead the U.S. Team standings, followed by Matt Kuchar (No. 2), Phil Mickelson (No. 3), FedExCup points leader Nick Watney (No. 4) and Dustin Johnson (No. 5). Bubba Watson (No. 6), Hunter Mahan (No. 7), Bill Haas (No. 8), Toms and reigning FedExCup champion Jim Furyk round out the top 10.
A look at the top 25 in the U.S. Team standings through the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational:
Rank Player Points
1 Steve Stricker 13,517,831
2 Matt Kuchar* 12,381,399
3 Phil Mickelson 11,757,618
4 Nick Watney* 11,565,749
5 Dustin Johnson* 10,481,897
6 Bubba Watson* 9,661,374
7 Hunter Mahan 8,462,183
8 Bill Haas* 8,159,206
9 David Toms 8,125,375
10 Jim Furyk 8,031,494
11 Rickie Fowler* 7,444,081
12 Bo Van Pelt * 7,262,583
*player who would be competing in event for first time
Rank Player Points
13 Brandt Snedeker* 7,138,263
14 Zach Johnson 7,047,913
15 Webb Simpson* 6,924,373
16 Ryan Moore* 6,865,913
17 Mark Wilson* 6,740,779
18 Jonathan Byrd* 6,640,688
19 Ryan Palmer* 6,388,326
20 Jeff Overton* 5,921,385
21 Steve Marino* 5,779,352
22 Sean O’Hair 5,569,002
23 Gary Woodland* 5,510,942
24 Tiger Woods 5,374,491
25 Charles Howell III 5,362,912
Currently at No. 24 in the U.S. Team standings, Tiger Woods returned to competitive golf last week at the Bridgestone Invitational after a four-month recovery from knee and Achilles injuries. He finished T37 with rounds of 68-71-72-70, but Captain Couples recently made it clear Woods would be one of his captain’s picks should he not automatically qualify for the team.
“I have talked to Tiger from the beginning of the year,” said Couples from last week’s 3M Championship on the Champions Tour. “He wants to play. He is ready to play, and I think he will be on our team. He will be on our team, no doubt. He has been the best player in the world for a long time. He has slipped a little in rankings maybe, the way he is shooting scores, but he is still Tiger, and if I am captain, I will pretty much take him anytime we go.”
The Presidents Cup, a team match play competition featuring 24 of the world’s top golfers – 12 from the United States and 12 from around the world, excluding Europe – is held every two years, and since 1996 has alternated between United States and international venues. The Presidents Cup was developed to give the world’s best non-European players an opportunity to compete in international team match-play competition. The U.S. Team has won six of the eight previous Presidents Cups, and the only win by the International Team came at the 1998 event in Melbourne. The 2003 Presidents Cup ended in a tie.
Players are not personally paid for their participation in The Presidents Cup; there is no purse or prize money. Each competitor, instead, designates charities or golf-related projects of his choice to receive a portion of the funds raised through the staging of each Presidents Cup. On behalf of the players, captains and captains’ assistants, more than $4.2 million was distributed to charitable causes from The Presidents Cup 2009. Additional donations were made to The First Tee of San Francisco and the Victorian Bushfire Appeal in 2009 and to the Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal following the Queensland floods in March 2011. In total, more than $23 million has been raised for charity since the inception of The Presidents Cup in 1994.
The Presidents Cup will return to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, November 15-20, 2011, where it will be played at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club. For more information about The Presidents Cup, please visit www.presidentscup.com.
About The Presidents Cup
The Presidents Cup, a team match play competition featuring 24 of the world’s top golfers – 12 from the United States and 12 from around the world, excluding Europe – is held every two years, and since 1996 has alternated between United States and international venues. At the most recent Presidents Cup, the U.S. Team retained the Cup from the Internationals in one of the most exciting and successful events to date at Harding Park Golf Course in San Francisco, Calif., October 2009.
The Presidents Cup was developed to give the world’s best non-European players an opportunity to compete in international team match-play competition. The U.S. Team has won six of the eight previous Presidents Cups, and the only outright win by the International Team came at the 1998 event in Melbourne. The 2003 Presidents Cup ended in a tie.
Citi and Rolex are the exclusive Global Partners of The Presidents Cup.
Royal Melbourne Golf Club has existed continuously since 1891 on Melbourne’s famed Sandbelt golf region, and is one of the most highly regarded golf clubs in Australia. Royal Melbourne is the first golf course outside of the United States to host the prestigious match-play competition more than once.