Monday, March 31, 2008


The Presidents Cup - unlike its historic and uptight cousin, the Ryder Cup - will bring a reputation for relaxed, spirited competition to Harding Park next year. The choice of Fred Couples as U.S. captain reinforced the image, as did Couples' announcement Thursday that gentlemanly Jay Haas will serve as his assistant.

Another nugget of news brought a similar vibe: Michael Jordan also will wander the tree-lined fairways alongside Lake Merced.

Couples, upon his appointment last month, had said he hoped to convince Jordan and comedian Robin Williams to become "special assistants" when the event comes to San Francisco in October 2009. Couples has not yet spoken to Williams, but Jordan agreed to fill a supporting role for a team likely to be headlined by Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

"If I was going to make a team and someone said Michael might be around, my eyes would light up," Couples said. "I believe he's been at every Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup I've ever played, and I thought that was kind of neat."

Capt. Freddie "Neat" Couples watches his tee shot on the seventh hole during the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

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