Couples faces tough Presidents Cup picks

Keegan Bradley exults after winning the PGA Championship on Aug. 14.

Keegan Bradley exults after winning the PGA Championship on Aug. 14.

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LEMONT, Ill. – Good luck, Captain. The pressure's on you.

That would be Fred Couples, captain of the U.S. Presidents Cup team and it's job now to round out his 12-man team with one wild card selection. He's got no shortage of quality candidates, but the fact is, there's one awkward situation hanging over the scenario.

Bill Haas shot 42 coming home in Sunday's final round of the BMW Championship and from a share of third to start the day, he finished T-16. Even worse, he finished 11th in the President Cup standings and now will wait to see if he's a captain's pick. The fact that his father, Jay, is one of Couples' assistant captains will get a lot of publicity, but there are those who think another factor carries much more weight in this process. Namely, the presence of Keegan Bradley.

Hunter Mahan, for one, thinks you have to pick the PGA Championship winner.

"I don’t think anyone else is really an option. Not over a guy who has won twice and a major. I think he’s earned it. I think he’s earned that right," Mahan said.

At the time, Mahan had finished poorly, shooting 74 to finish T-42 at the BMW, and he thought his Presidents Cup chance had slipped away. As it was, Mahan hung on to an automatic berth (he was ninth in the standings), but his sentiments about Bradley might be an indicator that colleagues think highly of what the rookie did.

Then again, it doesn't matter what the PGA Tour membership thinks. It only matters what Couples thinks and his decision isn't going to be announced until Sept. 27, two days after the Tour Championship ends. So, does Bradley think he's still on audition?

"Yeah, a little bit," Bradley said. "But I would hope they consider the whole year and not just a couple of events. But if I don't get picked, I totally understand."

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