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Ogilvy, Toms secure Presidents Cup berths
  • | AFP | September 19, 2011 01:44 PM

Australian Geoff Ogilvy and American David Toms, both past major champions, secured berths in this year\'s Presidents Cup golf matches with their performance at the PGA BMW Championship.

David Toms during the second round of the BMW Championship at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club on September 16, 2011 in Lemont, Illinois.

The US holders will meet a non-European Internationals squad in November at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia, the site of the only victory by the global side against the Americans in the Ryder Cup-styled event\'s history.

"I like our team," US captain Fred Couples said. "The team is coming together very nicely. What a team."

Ogilvy, the 2006 US Open winner, finished third at this week\'s $8 million PGA event near Chicago, the final qualifying event for automatic Presidents Cup berths, to hold off Aussie John Senden, the runner-up to England\'s Justin Rose.

Senden needed a victory to have a chance at making the lineup on points but he could be one the captain\'s picks announced on September 27 by Greg Norman.

The Internationals lineup includes Aussies Ogilvy, Jason Day and Adam Scott, South Africans Charl Schwartzel, Retief Goosen and Ernie Els, South Koreans K.J. Choi, Kim Kyung-tae and Yang Yong-Eun plus Japan\'s Ryo Ishikawa.

The Americans lineup includes Matt Kuchar, Steve Stricker, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Webb Simpson, Nick Watney, Bubba Watson, Jim Furyk, Hunter Mahan and 2001 PGA Championship winner Toms, who shared 10th at the BMW.

"There were some guys who gave it a great effort," Couples said. "Our US team is shaping up to be a young polished team. We got guys who hit it a long way and some guys who are great putters.

"Those eight, nine and 10 spots were hard fought. It is a struggle. I have been in places where you want to make a team so bad you forget you have to win a golf tournament."

Couples has been criticized for saying he would use one of his captain\'s choices to select Tiger Woods for the team even though the former World No. 1 has not won any events since November of 2009.

He defended the decision to add Woods ahead of the others, saying he needed Woods to get some extra tournament time in before the start of the tournament.

"The majority of the people I talk to liked the pick and a handful don\'t," Couples said. "Tiger was in the heat of battle in Augusta (and) almost won there. He has done everything I asked him to do and so I told him the reason I picked him early was there was some things I needed him to do.

"Tiger has been the best player in world for the past 10 years but is he playing his best golf? Of course not."

Couples said even without Woods at the top of his game, they still have a good chance at beating the International team.

"I talk to Tiger a lot and I know he is working hard. I am counting on him to play well in Australia," he said.

"We win by several guys playing well. We don\'t need everyone playing incredible golf."

Toms, who missed the 2009 Cup, began the week in the final automatic spot but jumped to eighth in the final points standings. It was Furyk who finished 10th to edge Brandt Snedeker for the last automatic spot.

"There were a lot of scenarios out there," Toms said. "I knew there were some guys I needed to beat in the golf tournament to secure my position and I was out there grinding."

Couples said that Snedeker, Bill Haas and Keegan Bradley are the three players who have the best shot at seizing the final spot on the US roster. He said Zach Johnson also has an outside shot of cracking the lineup.

"Snedeker, Haas, Bradley are the three leaders in this three-ring circus to be the 12th guy," Couples said. "Keegan has won twice this year, including a major, so his name is right there."

Snedeker is hoping for that call.

"If I don\'t get picked, I\'ve had two years to qualify. I can\'t blame Freddie for anything that happens," Snedeker said.

Joining Senden as candidates for Norman\'s two picks are Colombia\'s Camilo Villegas, who shared sixth at the BMW; South Africa\'s Louis Oosthuizen, Vijay Singh of Fiji and Aussies Robert Allenby and Aaron Baddeley.

Couples said the two teams match up well.

"They have a power packed team," he said of the Internationals. "It is a lot like us. They got young guys with old guys too. Although they are a little younger."

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