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Original Issue

All The Presidents' Men

While the Ryder Cup rides a tsunami of hype and popularity,
another biennial event putt-putts along behind. The Presidents
Cup, which will be played on Dec. 11-13 at the Royal Melbourne
Golf Course in Australia, gives fans starved for match-play
thrills something to tide them over in non-Ryder years. "In time
the Presidents Cup will be larger than the Ryder Cup," says Jack
Nicklaus, this year's U.S. captain, and Nicklaus isn't talking
about the size of the trophy. He's talking about the only
international team event in which you can see Tiger Woods square
off against Ernie Els.

Sure, the Prez Cup's format is lifted from its illustrious
predecessor. It's the new cup on the block. There have been 32
Ryder Cups, dating to 1927, and only two Presidents Cups. Still,
the new arrival has potential. The '96 International team
featured players from six nations on three continents,
demonstrating the game's global scope. The Ryder Cup showcases
only the best of Europe and America. In most Ryder Cup years,
nearly half the world's top 10 players are ineligible. Seventeen
of the world's top 20 are eligible for the '98 Presidents Cup.

As the chart below shows, Els of South Africa stands tall among
the players you can expect to see on the International team.
Greg Norman and Nick Price are the other Internationalists among
the top 10 in the World Ranking. Norman, though, will be
rehabbing his shoulder until a few weeks before Cup play starts.
While Els's countryman Price and Fiji's Vijay Singh may prove a
match for young American guns like David Duval and Justin
Leonard, who with their teammates will be shooting for a third
straight U.S. win, the rest of the world roster is less
accomplished. Royal Melbourne may be more familiar to the
International team, but the U.S. squad has far more depth and
should win in a rout. Where have we heard that before?


Tiger Woods 2 6 $2,985,028 --
Davis Love III 3 4 2,419,789 7-2-1
David Duval 5 5 3,126,113 4-0
Justin Leonard 7 3 2,635,371 1-3
Phil Mickelson 8 3 1,967,185 3-3-3
Tom Lehman 10 1 1,754,187 3-6-1
Mark O'Meara 11 4 2,232,127 5-0
Mark Calcavecchia 16 3 1,883,881 --
Scott Hoch 17 1 1,920,961 5-2-1
Jim Furyk 18 1 2,064,845 --


Ernie Els 1 5 $2,872,335 3-1-1
Greg Norman 4 3 1,988,254 3-2
Nick Price 9 7 1,745,738 2-5-2
Jumbo Ozaki 12 5 1,557,150 1-2
Vijay Singh 13 4 1,619,270 5-4-1
Steve Elkington 27 2 1,427,308 5-4-1
Frank Nobilo 28 1 1,199,100 3-6-1
Mark McNulty 33 3 264,845 3-4-2
Shigeki Maruyama 37 3 1,404,881 --
Craig Parry 42 3 892,636 3-5

COLOR PHOTO: JIM GUND SLAP HAPPY Can Love (left) and Fred Couples repeat their '96 Cup heroics? [Davis Love III and Fred Couples]


Only .0015% of the world's population is Swedish, but that
fraction includes Liselotte Neumann, Helen Alfredsson and Annika
Sorenstam. Here's how the Swedes, who rank 1-2-4, respectively,
on the LPGA money list, stack up against the seven non-Swedes
who have won LPGA events this year.


Wins 4 8
Top 10s 16 21
Scoring Avg. 70.18 71.58
Avg. Earnings $326,966 $201,627


With Mark O'Meara's Masters win, the last 13 majors have had 13
different winners. Here are the longest streaks and the men who
broke them.


1966 PGA-'70 U.S. Open 15
Jack Nicklaus at the '70 British

1990 PGA-'94 U.S. Open 15
Nick Price at the '94 British

1984 British-'87 PGA 14
Sandy Lyle at the '88 Masters

1934 U.S. Open-'37 U.S. Open 13
Henry Cotton at the '37 British

1956 PGA-'59 PGA 13
Arnold Palmer at the '60 Masters

1985 PGA-'88 PGA 13
Nick Faldo at the '89 Masters


Dollars won by Davis Love III in his last two starts, the MCI
Classic ($342,000) and last week's Chunichi Crowns ($163,600) in
Aichi, Japan.