Tiger not The Shark’s wildcard pick

Greg ‘The Shark’ Norman would not have chosen Tiger Woods as a wildcard pick for next month’s Presidents Cup in Australia.

Greg ‘The Great White Skark’ Norman would not have chosen Tiger Woods as a wildcard pick for next month’s Presidents Cup in Australia because he doesn’t believe the former World No 1’s form warranted it.

Instead, Norman, captain of the Internationals who will oppose Fred Couples’s United States team at Royal Melbourne next month, felt PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley would have been a worthier captain’s pick for the 12-man US team.

“I wouldn’t have (picked Woods),” Norman told the Fort Myers News-Press newspaper in Florida on Sunday. “I think Keegan Bradley was much more deserving.

“I can understand the name of a Tiger Woods and his history of what he’s done on the golf course. But I pick the guys who I think are ready to get in there and play and have performed to the highest levels leading up to it.”

Couples, who would later name FedEx Cup winner Bill Haas as his second wildcard, had inked Woods in as one of his wildcard selections a month earlier than the announcement date, despite the 14-times major champion’s continuing woes on and off the course since 2009

Woods has played in every Presidents Cup since 1998, but has not triumphed anywhere since the 2009 Australian Masters, partly because of leg injuries partly through on-going battles with his rebuilt swing and partly through some private life turmoil that ended with the breakup of his marriage.

“I just don’t think he’s swinging the golf club the way he used to when he won all those major championships (14),” Norman said of Woods, whose world ranking has slipped to 52nd.

“He’s a different player out there nowadays. He looks more confined. I know what it takes to have freedom in a golf swing … and I just don’t think he’s technically in the right position to do what he used to do.”

Norman expressed sympathy over the omission of 25-year-old Bradley from the US team.

“If I was in his shoes, I would feel like I got gut-checked a little bit,” the Australian said. “He’s a young guy. He likes the Presidents Cup. He loves the idea of playing for his country and he’s not, so I feel for him.”

Norman will lead the Internationals at Royal Melbourne Golf Club where Fred Couples, will have Woods and Bill Haas on his team as his two captain’s picks.