Should Tiger have waited and picked Brendon Todd for the Presidents Cup?

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Should Tiger have waited and picked Brendon Todd for the Presidents Cup?

PGA Tour

Should Tiger have waited and picked Brendon Todd for the Presidents Cup?

By

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Did Tiger Woods pull the trigger too soon with his latest pick as captain of the U.S. Presidents Cup team?

It’s a valid question, courtesy of Brendon Todd, who is in the pole position to win a third consecutive event on the PGA Tour.

On Wednesday, Woods, while he could have waited, didn’t waste any time in replacing the injured world No. 1 Brooks Koepka with Rickie Fowler to round out his band of 12 that will head to Australia Dec. 7 to face the Internationals at Royal Melbourne.

RSM Classic: Tee times, viewing info | Scores | Photos

Fowler was the expected choice. He’s a force in the team room, a solid, experienced player in the matches, a guy who finished 11th in the points race to be one of the eight automatic qualifiers. Fowler was Woods’ fifth pick – he earlier selected himself, Tony Finau, Gary Woodland and Patrick Reed.

But Fowler hasn’t played since August, as he got married in October and then got sick at the end of his honeymoon with an intestinal bacterial infection.

Meanwhile, Todd has gone bonkers.

He’s won the Bermuda Championship and the Mayakoba Golf Classic and will take a two-shot lead into Sunday’s final round of the RSM Classic at Sea Island Golf Club. With a bogey-free, 8-under-par 62 in Saturday’s third round, Todd got two clear of Webb Simpson and Sebastian Munoz, is three clear of D.J. Trahan and four ahead of three other players.

Todd missed just one green in regulation on the Seaside Course and hit every fairway in regulation. While he made birdie putts from 20, 12, 6, 2, 28, 18, 2 and 9 feet, he also lipped out four other birdie putts.

“Like my caddie said, it was like a video game out there today,” Todd said. “Just thrilled with the way I’m hitting it and feeling out there. That was about as good as I could ask for in the circumstances.

“I just expect certain areas of my game to perform at a certain level right now. So when they do, the scores come and then you just kind of take them and move through the round and try to shoot as low as you can.”

Todd’s remarkable run could lead him to winning three consecutive events on the PGA Tour. The last player to do that? Woods, in 2006.

It’s a stunning about-face. Todd nearly quit the game and considered opening a pizza franchise when he missed 37-of-41 cuts and went more than two years without breaking 70 on the PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour from 2016-18.

Now he’s posted 12 consecutive round in the 60s, signing for 66-68-63-67-62-63-68-65-68-66-66-62. Folks, that’s a whopping 68-under par.

But he has no ill will toward Woods for not picking him.

“If there was any inkling at all, Davis (Love III) or Zach (Johnson) or one of the assistant captains might have mentioned it to me. Obviously Tiger had Rickie in mind a long time ago, as he should have, and I’m fine with that,” Todd said.

Todd also isn’t complaining about the final group on Sunday, where he’ll go out with Simpson and Munoz. Todd and Simpson played junior golf against each other and they’ve remained friends ever since. In times of struggle, each has consoled in the other. On Sunday, they will play on the PGA Tour together for the first time since being grouped in the first two rounds at Colonial in 2016.

“We’ve been able to talk to each other on the phone and help each other out,” Simpson said. “I’ve been so proud of him for hanging in there.  I mean, I think besides the Player of the Year, I mean, his story could be the biggest story of the year. To come back just proves what kind of guts he has inside of him to not give up or throw in the towel.”

But Simpson won’t question Woods’ decision to take Fowler.

“It’s funny, Brendon texted me after he won (in Mayakoba) and he said, ‘Captain’s pick?’” Simpson said. “But now it’s like he’s playing as good as anybody in the world. But I think the team’s set, but he definitely gave it a good try.”

That’s all Todd will do in the final round, for he’s not going to change anything.

“I just want to get into my little zone and attack the golf course like I’m trying to go shoot nothing because that’s been my mindset every day for the last three events and there’s really no reason to change it just because I’m (in) the lead,” Todd said. “And whether it happens or not, you know, I’m not going to change my game plan, I’m not going to feel good or bad about myself, I’m just going to keep attacking.”

It’s worked pretty well for three consecutive tournaments.

Latest

More Golfweek
Home