Couples Wants Woods to Play More to Have Chance to Join U.S. Presidents Cup Team

Fred Couples is the captain of the 2011 U.S. Presidents Cup team and, until this week, has indicated that Tiger Woods would be one of his two captains' picks.

But Couples has backed off previous remarks that the 14-time major winner is virtually guaranteed a spot on the squad, which will take on the International team at Royal Melbourne in Australia November 17-20, saying Woods needs to play more.

Woods, who missed the cut in last week's PGA Championship, isn't scheduled to play again until the Australian Open in Sydney November 10-13. Because he was rehabilitating his left knee and Achilles heel injured in mid-May, Woods has not entered enough tournaments to qualify for the FedEx Cup Playoffs, which start August 25.

"For him to play, I think he needs to play a little bit," Couples told reporters Wednesday at the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship in Harrison, N.Y. "He just can't show up the week before in Australia."

Couples said that he has talked to Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, about Woods playing in more tournaments between now and the Australian Open, but there aren't many options, other than the four Fall Series events, which include the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas in late September and the Open in San Martin, Calif., a week later.

Another option is for the 35-year-old to play in two PGA Tour-sanctioned events in Malaysia and China in the weeks prior to the Australian Open.

Regardless, Couples is set in his expectation that Woods must enter some tournaments before the Presidents Cup. "I have made it clear that whoever I picked will be playing the Australian tournament the week before," Couples said.

"But I need him to play more than just there. There's quite a few tournaments after the Tour Championship." The Tour Championship will be held September 22-25 at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.