Greetings again from sunny Florida. With the first major championship of the year in the books, we can now look forward to THE PLAYERS Championship.
Obviously, the Masters was such a great week for the prospective members of the International Team with all the good performances, particularly with Adam winning, but also Jason Day playing really well, and it was nice to also see Angel Cabrera play so well. Angel is an explosive player, to say the least, although he hasn’t recently featured on the Presidents Cup International standings. He’s always a player you pay attention to, but his Masters performance certainly helped his chances of making the team. Angel is one of those guys who can bring a lot to the team room. Any player who can fire like he can, and play like he did down the stretch at Augusta National on a Sunday – like Adam and Jason also – well, there were very few mistakes and amongst the three of them. You could see they all really wanted to win. It wasn’t a question of who was going to lose it or not, it was who was going to win – and that’s the kind of attitude I look for as captain.
I’ve also been paying attention to Marc Leishman. He’s been around that mid-teen number on the International Team standings for the whole of this year, and I’ve watched him play a little bit on television, but I haven’t watched him in person. He’s got a wonderful attitude. I really like how calm and relaxed he is. There’s not very much at fault with his game. With a little more experience, he would have had a really good shot at the title on Sunday at the Masters.
Tim Clark has started to play so much better after his injury, and we saw him in the mix at Augusta National. He’s a little bulldog. He’s a tough competitor, and I’d love for him to be on the Team. Major championships are where the true form of players always comes out. The fact that we had several international players perform so well at the year’s first major shows me that there is a lot of determination in the potential members of the Team.
My last meeting with prospective team members was at Doral during the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, but since then I’ve been spending quite a bit of time down here in the West Palm Beach area with Ernie Els, Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen. I’ve also spent some time with Branden Grace. We’ve been chatting a lot about Presidents Cup plans and sharing ideas.
My next trip is a visit to Muirfield Village Golf Club at the end of May for the Memorial Tournament. In the meantime, I’m starting to pay more attention to the Official World Golf Ranking and starting to look for players who make moves up the rankings week to week. This is the time when a guy who may not have been on my radar early in the year begins to play well. The next four or five months are going to be critical for who my picks are going to be.