When Walter Bingham completely dismissed the value of the Presidents Cup (Golf Plus, Sept. 4), I concluded that he didn't understand the importance of exposing a global audience to golf at that level. How can the Presidents Cup be anything but a positive when fans in places such as Australia, Japan and South Africa can watch their native heroes challenge, and perhaps defeat, the best U.S. players?
I remember the normally laid-back Fred Couples leaped into the air and high-fived his teammates after draining a long birdie putt to beat Vijay Singh and clinch the U.S. victory at the 1996 match. Moments later I was in the International team cottage, where we bared our souls about the value of representing our countries and began to prepare for the rematch in 1998 in my homeland, Australia. There we achieved our dream, handing the Americans their worst loss ever in a team event (20�-11�).
Sure, several of the International players live in the U.S., but that doesn't diminish the thrill of representing our native lands. Also, I don't buy Bingham's argument that the American players aren't interested. After making that putt in '96, Couples told me, "I've never reacted like that in my life." Two years ago Jack Nicklaus, the U.S. captain, said, "The opportunity is there for the Presidents Cup to be even bigger [than the Ryder Cup]."
When the fourth Presidents Cup is held in a week outside Washington, D.C., there will be hundreds of reporters from around the world and an enormous international TV audience. That's why I'm grinding hard to rehabilitate my right hip. (I had surgery in August to repair the hip socket.) Like my countrymates at the Olympics in Sydney, I can't wait to hear Advance Australia Fair, the national anthem, cheer on my mates and prove again that the Internationals are golf's best.