Presidents Cup: If Brooks Koepka can't play, Kevin Kisner or Kevin Na should

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Presidents Cup: If Brooks Koepka can't play, Kevin Kisner or Kevin Na should

2019 Presidents Cup

Presidents Cup: If Brooks Koepka can't play, Kevin Kisner or Kevin Na should

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Later this week Presidents Cup captain Tiger Woods will make his four captain’s picks and complete Team USA’s roster for the matches against the Internationals on Dec. 12-15 at Australia’s Royal Melbourne.

There’s a legitimate case to be made for a handful of players, and earlier this week my colleague Steve DiMeglio put himself in Woods’ shoes and made the following four selections: Woods, Gary Woodland, Patrick Reed and Tony Finau. That leaves newlywed Rickie Fowler, who has made two Presidents Cup appearances with a 4-3-1 record, riding the pine pony.

But, Woods may have to make a fifth pick if Brooks Koepka can’t play. Koepka aggravated a left knee injury last month at the CJ Cup and withdrew after two rounds in Korea, then decided not to play last week’s WGC-HSBC Champions. DiMeglio argued in favor of Fowler taking Koepka’s place if the world No. 1 doesn’t go, but what about a player named Kevin? There are two who deserve consideration.

More: Who should Tiger Woods pick?

Like Kevin Kisner, for example. Kisner made his international debut two years ago, earning three points in four matches with a 2-0-2 record in Team USA’s 19-11 win at Liberty National. Not bad for a rookie.

Kisner also won the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play back in March, earning the title after finishing runner-up in 2018. He defeated Tony Finau and Keith Mitchell but lost to Ian Poulter in group play. From the Round of 16 and on, he defeated Haotong Li 6&5, Louis Oosthuizen 2&1, Francesco Molinari 1 up and Matt Kuchar in the final match 3&2.

This game “ain’t no hobby” for Kisner, and he deserves a strong look.

As does Kevin Na.

Woods said player performance in the fall leading up to the Presidents Cup would be important, and few have played better early this season than Na.

Na has won three of his last 32 starts on the PGA Tour, most recently at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas last month.

The 36-year-old is resilient, as seen in his comeback from the yips. He’s a strong player in match play, as seen in his playoff victory over U.S. team member Patrick Cantlay at the Shriners. He’s prone to get hot with his putter and he brings a fun, new element to a roster full of Team USA veterans.

Plus, how fun would it be to see a Woods/Na pairing walking in putts like this while donning the red, white and blue?

We won’t know Woods’ decision until Thursday, and maybe Koepka is good to go and both Kevins are out of the conversation, so for now, we wait.

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