When and if it comes time to decide what two golfers will carry the Presidents Cup into sudden death, U.S. captain Hale Irwin has no idea who he will use.
David Graham has an obvious choice in Nick Price, the hottest player in the world.In a marked departure from Ryder Cup play, the captains of the American and International teams in the Presidents Cup must designate a player to go into a sudden-death playoff for the title should the inaugural matches end in a tie.
Those names will be placed in envelopes Sunday morning before the start of the 12 singles matches. Play begins Friday with five fourball matches in the morning.
The tiebreaker is one of three major departures for the event that was modeled after - but desperately wants to be something other than a pale carbon copy of - the Ryder Cup matches.
The matches between 12-man squads from the United States and non-European countries whose players are not eligible for the Ryder Cup was created early this year by the PGA Tour.
Two days ago, the International team and the tournament took a body blow when Greg Norman withdrew due to severe intenstinal problems.
"It's going to be harder for us now," Price said Wednesday. "Everyone figured he would be worth 2, maybe 3 points to us.
Bradley Hughes of Australia, ranked No. 117 in the world, was tabbed as Norman's replacement and made an overnight flight from Tokyo to join the team.
As opposed to the Ryder Cup, the 12 singles matches cannot end in a tie. If two players are even after 18 holes, they will continue until a winner is determined.
Another change is in the fourball and foursomes matches. The Ryder Cup has four matches in morning and four more in afternoon sessions both Friday and Saturday.
That number goes to five in each session for the Presidents Cup, and every member of each team is required to play at least once a day.
After being announced as captain, Irwin played his way onto the team and will be a playing captain. In addition to Couples and Pavin, other Americans are Jim Gallagher, Jay Haas, Scott Hoch, John Huston, Tom Lehman, Davis Love III, Jeff Maggert, Phil Mickelson and Loren Roberts.
In addition to Hughes and Price, other members of the International team are Mark McNulty of Zimbabwe; Australians Robert Allenby, Steve Elkington, Craig Parry and Peter Senior; David Frost and Fulton Allem of South Africa, Vijay Singh of Fiji, Frank Nobilo of New Zealand, and Tsuka Watanabe of Japan.
In Orondo, Wash., touring pro Rick Fehr of host Desert Canyon Golf Resort tied a tournament course record with a 7-under-par 65 Wednesday to win the Pacific Northwest PGA's Northwest Open.
The former BYU golfer completed three rounds in 14-under-par 202, the lowest score in the 93-year history of the tournament.