Jack Nicklaus: Fred Couples will make a good captain for U.S. President’s Cup team
Fred Couples’ laid-back style makes him perfectly suited for captain’s role, according to a guy who should know, Jack Nicklaus.
Seattle Times staff
The key to being a successful President’s Cup captain is rather simple, Jack Nicklaus said.
You stay out of the way.
Nicklaus should know. He captained four U.S. teams, and he thinks Seattle native Fred Couples is well suited for the role as he looks to lead the U.S. team to a win for the second straight time in the biennial event that begins Thursday.
“He lets assistant Jay Haas do all the work and he stays in the background, and that’s why he’s so successful,” Nicklaus said. “You just let them play golf. Freddy is such a good guy, and he’s so low key, and they all like Freddy. Everybody likes Freddy. He’s not controversial about anything. He’s just laid back, and he relates to all the guys.”
Nicklaus started laughing as he recalled being captain at the 2005 President’s Cup outside Washington D.C. On the final day, Couples was matched against Vijay Singh. With the two even on the 18th hole, Couples made about a 20-foot putt to defeat Singh, about the same putt that Chris DiMarco had in the decisive match later in the day.
“I said, ‘Freddy, he’s going to ask me what I think. What did that putt do?’ ” Nicklaus said of a conversation he had with Couples’ before DiMarco’s putt. “He said, ‘I don’t know. I aimed it out to the right and closed my eyes and hit it.’ That’s Freddy. That’s just very typical of what he does, and DiMarco made the putt.”
Then Nicklaus laughed one more time.
“That’s the type of leadership Freddy will give: ‘Close your eyes and hit it.’ ”
Scott Hanson: 206-464-2943