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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Twofer Tuesday? The Presidents Cup

Who am I kidding? You pick one team or the other this week. So what else is there to talk about?

Tiger and Ernie with the Cup

Let me just pass on a few thoughts.

First, concerning Patrick Reed: Despite how damning the video appears, I think people are missing one very important point in this discussion... and that's the fact that the video exists at all. Why do I think that's a big deal?

Simply, Patrick had been in or near the lead all day and KNEW there was a camera following him. Look at that video again -- there isn't anything between the camera and Patrick to keep him from seeing it. The real question isn't whether Patrick was trying to cheat or not. The real question is whether Patrick is stupid enough to try and cheat when he KNOWS he's on camera. Do you really think a player THAT stupid can play as well -- and win as much -- as Patrick has?

My money is on a brain fart, plain and simple. People may think Patrick is impervious to pressure but, given that his lead was slipping away and the field was playing so well, I could see his hands losing some of their sensitivity. Add a little bit of mental fog and I can see him totally zoning out over the shot.

So regardless of what anybody says, I think Captain America is human and just blacked out for a few moments. The alternative simply makes no sense to me at all.

On the International Team's chances: I know the history, I know the rankings, I know the likelihood of repeating the past. Frankly, I think the US Team will win once again.

But I think the International Team is being terribly underestimated. Their rookies are playing well and -- yes, I think this is an advantage -- Jason Day isn't playing. I believe that's an advantage only because I don't think the current state of Jason's game can handle the pressure of having the team on his back. (Back problems have been hurting his game all season.) The rookies and normal support players HAVE to step up and I believe they will, simply because there is no one other than Adam Scott with a huge record... and nobody expects Adam to win it all by himself. Without Jason there, I expect new leaders will emerge.

As I said, the rookies are playing well. They don't have the jet lag of the US Team but they DO have some serious credentials on tours around the world. I think Ernie's team is primed to field some breakout stars this time around.

And the Internationals have won in Australia before. I think that carries more weight than they're getting credit for. They know they can do it there because they HAVE done it there.

So while I think the US will win, I won't be surprised if the Internationals manage an upset.

Finally, about Tiger: How many times will Tiger try to play? I don't think there's any mystery at all.

I forget which news conference it was, but in the last week Tiger specifically said he was "responsible for two points" at this event. Of course he is -- all team members are required to play once before the singles and then in the singles. I think that's all Tiger plans to play unless he's needed for a third match... or he just finds he's on a hot streak.

But I don't think he's willing to risk a singles loss just to play more than one pairs match. He wants a win, and risking a back problem makes no sense at all.

So that's my "Twofer Tuesday" for this week. Just one takeaway: Don't sleep on those International rookies; I think they're going to surprise some viewers.

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