Golf Gazette: Should U.S. pack Woods for Presidents Cup?

The 2011 Presidents Cup, a biannual event pitting the top golfers from the United States against the best golfers from the rest of the world except for Europe will be played at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia Nov. 17 through Nov. 20.

Ten players automatically qualify for each team based on points they have accumulated over the past year, along with two players chosen by the team captains.

Fred Couples, this year’s captain for the USA, chose Tiger Woods as one of his picks, creating some heated discussion in golfing circles. Couples’ other selection was Bill Haas.

Woods has played little competitive golf this year and is currently 56th in the world rankings. Australian professional golfer Geoff Ogilvy, ranked 39th in the world, had this to say about Couples’ choice of Woods: “I don’t agree with the way Fred picked him. Announcing it months early, basically telling the guys on the fringe of making the team that there’s really only going to be one pick. Keegan Bradley is the obvious choice. He’s won two tournaments, one a major, and he hasn’t made the team.”

Here’s what some of your neighbors thought about Woods representing the United States in this year’s President Cup competition.

Bill Hands of Orient: “He’s there because of his reputation. I don’t think he has played well enough this year to merit his being on the team.”

Donna Kerrigan of Aquebogue: “Although the respect level is much lower for Tiger Woods because of what he did in his personal life, there is no denying he will always be one of the greatest golfers of all time.”

Scott Klipp of Greenport: “Tiger Woods is good for golf. I would not have picked him, but I respect Fred Couples’ opinion.”

Chris Schade of Southold: “He’s on the team because of his reputation. He should have earned a spot.”

Whatever you think, one thing is for sure, you can bet the networks broadcasting the event are thrilled that Woods will be on hand. Can you say higher ratings?

Professional golf is entertainment, and with Tiger Woods in the field, this year’s President’s Cup will definitely be entertaining.

TEE TIMES Congratulations go out to Bob Scott, who had a hole-in-one on the third hole at Cedars Golf Club in Cutchogue. Terry McGlaughlin aced the 16th hole at Island’s End Golf Club in Greenport. Vince Scheraldi of The Links at Cherry Creek in Riverhead reported an ace by Steve DiFruscio on hole No. 2. Tony Meras, 80, of Riverhead recorded his first hole-in-one on the seventh hole at Southampton Golf Club where he has been a member since 1957. His brother, Peter, and his son, Anthony,  also have made aces on the same hole. Guess it runs in the family.

19TH HOLE There are some hardy golfers who will venture out onto the links in just about any type of weather. Here are a few advantages to playing in the rain courtesy of Chris Gallagher of Southold, who has played in just about every weather condition imaginable:

o The course is not crowded and you can play a round in under three hours.

o The greens are soft so you can aim for the pin.

o You don’t have to wash your ball.

o Your clubs become self-cleaning and need just a soft wipe from your already damp towel.

o You don’t need to use as much sunscreen.