I'm stillscratching my head over International captain Greg Norman's Presidents Cuppicks. One is a junior golfer and the other is sinking faster than the Titanic.O.K., I'll give Norman a pass on Ryo Ishikawa. I'd like to see someone withmore mileage, but the 17-year-old from Japan has three wins this season on hisnation's tour, the last of which came only two weeks ago. His stock is rising,and Norman's team is otherwise loaded with experience. As for the second pick,Adam Scott (below), all I can say is: Wow! His World Ranking has sunk from No.3 to 53; he's missed the cut in 10 of his 18 starts on Tour this year; and hishealth (knee) is a concern. Scott is a tremendous guy to be around andpossesses a scary amount of talent, but the Presidents Cup has twoalternate-shot sessions, and he must play in at least one of them. How do youput a guy who's 159th in driving accuracy, 165th in greens in regulation and189th in putting in that situation? Scott is grinding on his game in Europe fortwo weeks, and will play in the Oct. 1--4 Turning Stone Resort Championship inpreparation for the following week's Cup matches at San Francisco's HardingPark. But why didn't Norman take a serious look at his countryman Michael Sim,another kid whose stock is skyrocketing? This season Sim, 24, has three wins onthe Nationwide tour and amazing stats: second in driving accuracy, eighth inGIR and first in putting. That's ideal for team golf. I hope the cup will be avote of confidence for Scott, and that he'll regain his spot among the game'sbest, but my gut tells me it may not work out.
Dottie Pepper isa 17-year LPGA veteran and an on-course analyst for NBC and Golf Channel.
GOLF PLUS willnext appear in the Oct. 5 SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
ROBERT BECK (PEPPER)
ROBERT BECK (SCOTT)