Weir makes International cut as wild-card pick
TULSA, Okla. -- Canada's biggest golf tournament will have its biggest star.
Presidents Cup Rosters
Final Presidents Cup standings, with points, for the Sept. 27-30 event at Royal Montreal Golf Club (x- captain's pick, with points ranking outside the Cup top 10):
United States Tiger Woods 28,925,684 Jim Furyk 15,556,781 Phil Mickelson 12,787,012 Zach Johnson 9,073,914 Charles Howell III 7,415,779 Scott Verplank 7,406,171 David Toms 7,373,140 Steve Stricker 7,059,465 Stewart Cink 6,996,578 Woody Austin 6,661,765 x- Lucas Glover, 11th 6,238,366 x- Hunter Mahan, 14th 6,082,403 International Ernie Els, South Africa 7.67 Adam Scott, Australia 6.48 Vijay Singh, Fiji 5.88 Geoff Ogilvy, Australia 5.49 Choi Kyung-Ju, Korea 5.09 Rory Sabbatini, South Africa 4.96 Retief Goosen, South Africa 4.47 Trevor Immelman, South Africa 4.24 Angel Cabrera, Argentina 4.16 Stuart Appleby, Australia 3.21 x- Nick O'Hern, 11th, Australia 3.18 x- Mike Weir, 20th, Canada 2.50
"He's a terrific team member," Player said. "And being played in Canada, if we didn't have a Canadian in my team and playing in Canada, I can assure you, the series would be quite flat among the Canadian people. Mike is a hero in his country, deservedly so."
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 18½-15½ 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 Championship, but tweaked his neck at Firestone a week before the PGA, then opened with a 77 at Southern Hills and missed the cut.
"I'm sure the Canadian people are going to be relieved," Player said. "I continually had questions every week, 'Are you putting Mike, are you putting him in?' It's going to enhance the event in Canada."
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 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 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.
"If there's been a player who has played better, a young player who's played better in the last six months, I don't know who it is," Nicklaus said.
Player thought about Andres Romero, the 26-year-old Argentine who nearly won the British Open and captured his first European Tour victory a week later in Germany. It would have given Cabrera a Spanish-speaking partner.
But it was hard to argue with his selection of O'Hern.
"I'd obviously love another crack at Tiger," O'Hern said. "He's the No. 1 player in the world for a reason, and I think everyone would love to have that challenge. That's why we play the game, to play against the best players in the world."
O'Hern has been making his U.S. base at Isleworth outside Orlando, Fla., where Woods has lived since turning pro.
"I see him from time to time out on the driving range," O'Hern said. "We sort of go about our business. He's pretty intense when he practices, so I leave him alone and vice versa. We get along just fine. It's probably a good thing I don't play with him, because then I'd find out how really good he is."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press