JERSEY CITY, New Jersey – At Captains’ Day to celebrate the one-year countdown to the 2017 Presidents Cup, U.S. Team Captain Steve Stricker and International Team Captain Nick Price announced their captains’ assistants: Stricker appointed Fred Couples, Davis Love III and Tiger Woods as his captain’s assistants; and Price named Ernie Els, Tony Johnstone and Geoff Ogilvy as his captain’s assistants. The 2017 Presidents Cup will be played at Liberty National Golf Club, in Jersey City, New Jersey, Sept. 26-Oct. 1.
Fred Couples is no stranger to competing on and leading Presidents Cup teams. After playing in four Presidents Cups (1994, 1996, 1998, 2005), as well as five stints on the U.S. Ryder Cup Team (1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997), the World Golf Hall of Fame member was tapped for the Presidents Cup captaincy in 2009, a role he reprised in 2011 and 2013, all of which resulted in a U.S. victory; he is the only 3-0 captain in Presidents Cup history. As a player, Couples owned a 9-5-2 record in the Presidents Cup, and he clinched the first two wins for the U.S. Team in 1994 and 1996, in dramatic fashion.
In 2015, U.S. Team Captain Jay Haas called on Couples’ invaluable experience and named him as a captain’s assistant. The 15-time PGA TOUR winner’s impressive resume includes victories at the 1992 Masters and two victories at THE PLAYERS Championship (1984, 1996).
“I’m honored Steve asked me to be a part of the U.S. Team next year as a captain’s assistant,” said Couples. “This will be my ninth time with the Presidents Cup, either as a player, a captain or a captain’s assistant, and I honestly couldn’t imagine being away from the event next year. I know the New York and New Jersey crowds are going to make the event a lot of fun, probably the best ever. I told Steve whatever he needs, I’m there for him, but I know he’s going to be a great captain.”
“Quite simply, I’m not sure you can have a Presidents Cup without Fred Couples,” said Stricker. “I was fortunate to have him as my captain during the 2009, 2011 and 2013 Presidents Cup events, and the moment I was asked to be U.S. Team captain, I knew I’d want Fred to be a part of the team’s leadership as well. Freddie has his own style in the team room, and it’s one the players really respond to, myself included. It’s going to be a lot of fun, I’m sure.”
Davis Love III
After joining Stricker as a captain’s assistant at the 2015 Presidents Cup, Davis Love III will occupy the same role in 2017 at Liberty National. A 21-time PGA TOUR winner, Love competed in the first six editions of the Presidents Cup (1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005) and compiled a record of 16-8-3. Additionally, Love never lost a singles match, boasting a sterling 5-0-1 record.
With an additional six appearances on the U.S. Ryder Cup Team (1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004), Love completed a stretch of 13 years where he played in every U.S. team competition.
Love was given the reigns of the U.S. Ryder Cup Team in 2012, and after narrowly missing out on the victory in his first stint as captain, he was asked to return for the recently completed 2016 matches, where the U.S. Team won in deciding fashion.
“I’m still on a high from the win last week, probably one that I will never come down from,” said Love. “To be able to carry that momentum over to the Presidents Cup next year and work with many of the same guys is really exciting for me, and to be a captain’s assistant to one of my great friends in Steve Stricker will make the experience even better. Any opportunity to represent the red, white and blue is a true honor and not one that I would ever pass up. I love the Presidents Cup, and I’m confident the crowds for 2017 will be out in full force – for both teams – which will make it a lot of fun to be a part of.”
“I asked Davis to join the U.S. Team as a captain’s assistant before the Ryder Cup, but if I needed any further proof of his incredible leadership skills, last week’s event – and outcome – would be more than enough,” said Stricker. “Davis has a great mix of technical expertise and attention to detail, but also an easy-going approachability. The players love playing for him, and I know I’ll be able to lean on him for a lot of insight and help throughout my first time as a captain. I was honored to be a part of his team at the Ryder Cup, and I’m honored he has agreed to do the same for me at the Presidents Cup.”
Tiger Woods, an eight-time U.S. Presidents Cup Team member (1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013), will serve as a captain’s assistant for the Presidents Cup for the first time. The 79-time PGA TOUR winner has compiled an impressive Presidents Cup record of 24-15-1 since his first appearance on the 1998 U.S. Team, and he holed the winning putt for the United States at the 2009, 2011 and 2013 events, a Presidents Cup record. He has won more matches than any other player in Presidents Cup history (24), and he is one of five players to go 5-0-0 during a single event (2009).
Woods and Stricker are one of only two teams to win four points when paired together during a single Presidents Cup (2009; Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen, 2015, are the other pair).
Woods was assistant captain to Davis Love III at last week’s Ryder Cup, an event in which he’s played for the United States seven times.
“It’s just a tremendous honor,” said Woods. “Steve is one of my best friends. We’ve been friends for close to 20 years now. And we’ve been on teams together; we’ve played on Ryder Cups and Presidents Cups, in pairings together and playing against each other down the stretch in tournaments. It’s been a lot of fun getting to know him and Nicki and the kids, so for him to have the confidence in me, to be part of the crew and help him in any way I possibly can – I’m thrilled to be his assistant.”
“Tiger certainly could play his way onto the U.S. Team, and if that happens, replacing him as a captain’s assistant will be a great problem for me to have,” said Stricker. “But if he doesn’t, I’m honored he accepted this role for the first time in his impressive Presidents Cup career. Tiger has been a great teammate and friend over the years, and I know the U.S. guys will benefit from the experience and camaraderie that only Tiger can bring.”
Ernie Els is new to the role of captain’s assistant, but he has had plenty of experience in Presidents Cups, competing eight times (1996, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2001, 2013), which is tied for most by an International Team member, with Vijay Singh, and he owns an overall record of 20-18-2. He is tied for second all-time (with Singh and Tiger Woods) for most match appearances in Presidents Cup history (40), and Els has won more matches than any other International Team member (20).
The World Golf Hall of Fame member has 19 career PGA TOUR victories to his credit, including four major championships between the U.S. Open (1994, 1997) and The Open Championship (2002, 2012). The former world No. 1 and native South African has also made his mark internationally with 47 total victories spread across the European Tour and South African Tour, as well as representing South Africa five times in the World Cup (1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2001) as well as nine times in the Alfred Dunhill Cup (1992-2000).
“To be with Nick is going to be wonderful,” said Els. “We go back a long time. He was my mentor on the TOUR, and I played a lot of practice rounds with him, got a lot of advice from Nick. We’ve become really great friends since then, and I can’t wait to help him. It’s going to be an unreal Presidents Cup. To be at Liberty National looking at the financial district and the rest of Manhattan, it’s going to be incredible. The energy that comes out of that place is just crazy, and I think – I couldn’t see anything else beating that venue. I think it’s just going to be terrific.”
“Ernie and I have been good friends for a long time, and I’m thrilled he has agreed to join the International Team as a captain’s assistant,” said Price. “His Presidents Cup and match-play records are exceptional, and he is extremely well-respected by his fellow players, which is such an asset in the team room and on the golf course during a competition like this. I am confident he will add an incredible dynamic to the Team over the next year and during event week.”
Tony Johnstone will return as captain’s assistant for the International Team under Price for a third-consecutive Presidents Cup. Johnstone, who hails from Zimbabwe, spent his competitive career mainly on the South African Sunshine Tour, where he won 17 times, and the European Tour, where he won six times, including the 1992 British PGA Championship. He has represented Zimbabwe in international competition several times, including the Alfred Dunhill Cup (1993-98, 2000) and the World Cup (1994-98, 2000-01).
“I was delighted and honored to be asked by Nick to be an assistant again,” said Johnstone. “The last two Presidents Cups have been fantastic experiences. You can’t find a man to whom the Presidents Cup means more than it does to Nick. We all admire his captaincy and love and respect him as a man, and nothing would give more pleasure than to see him become a winning captain. He has the knack of bringing out the very best in everyone in the team.
“Working with Nick, Geoff and Ernie will be tremendous. I will be the only one who is majorless, but I make great coffee! In all seriousness, being part of another Presidents Cup in the USA will be brilliant. The U.S. supporters make it a vibrant week, and I’m sure the New Yorkers will be in full voice! I can’t wait to do it again.”
“I wouldn’t want to serve as captain again without Tony by my side,” said Price. “He’s been with me every step of the way – not only as part of the 2013 and 2015 teams, but also as my good friend and confidant since childhood. Tony’s positive attitude is mixed with a competitive spirit that makes him the perfect team leader. We are so excited for the opportunity to work together again with an eye toward capturing the Cup.”
Geoff Ogilvy will join Ernie Els as a first-time captain’s assistant, having played on three consecutive International Presidents Cup Teams (2007, 2009, 2011), where he accumulated a 7-6-1 record. The likable Aussie has eight career PGA TOUR victories, including the 2006 U.S. Open. Ogilvy also won two of his native Australia’s biggest titles, the Australian PGA in 2008 and the Australian Open in 2010.
“The Presidents Cup is an amazing tournament,” said Ogilvy. “I didn’t make the last two Presidents Cups when Nick was captain, but I talked to him a lot during the whole time and I was pretty impressed with how he managed it. And Korea seemed to be a really, really good Presidents Cup. I was very excited when he called me. It’s been my favorite three weeks of golf ever by a long stretch, the three Presidents Cups I’ve played. It’s not even close for second. It’s an incredible time and this one, especially, might be the coolest venue for one of these top team events ever.”
“Geoff loves the Presidents Cup, and that passion for the event will make him an invaluable asset to the team,” said Price. “He also has a great relationship with many of the potential International Team members, especially the younger players. His insight and perspective will be a welcomed addition to the process, and I couldn’t be happier that he’s accepted the job.”
One of the world’s most picturesque golf courses, Liberty National is located along the Hudson River, with striking views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Manhattan skyline. Liberty National will be just the fourth golf course in the United States to host the prestigious team match-play competition, joining Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Prince William County, Virginia, (1994, 1996, 2000, 2005), TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, California, (2009) and Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio (2013).