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Top Americans will play in Presidents Cup

The Americans might not be sending their second team to South Africa for the Presidents Cup in November.

United States captain Jack Nicklaus held a meeting this week at the Memorial and said there wasn't a player among the top 10 in the standings -- including Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Davis Love III -- who doesn't want to go.

``I think Tiger, Phil and Davis have all committed to go,'' Nicklaus said. ``That's what they told the Tour. I think they all want to go. That's going to be a nice trip.''

The Presidents Cup is match play between the United States and an international team with players from everywhere but Europe.

Some top players had said they might skip the Presidents Cup, not wanting to travel so far after the PGA Tour season is over. The matches are scheduled for Nov. 20-23.

Plus, most of them play every other year in the more emotionally draining Ryder Cup.

Nicklaus also was captain in 1998, when the Presidents Cup was played in Australia, where the United States had its worst defeat ever in team matches, 20 1/2-11 1/2.

Some players spent their time at Royal Melbourne shopping for Christmas presents on the Internet.

``I didn't realize when we went down there that we had guys that didn't really want to play,'' Nicklaus said. ``And I said, 'You know, it's a wonderful trip (to South Africa). If you're going to go, I want you to go. If you don't want to go, just say so.' I don't have any problem with that.''

He said Jeff Sluman and Fred Funk, who have never played in a Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup, offered to row across the Atlantic to get to Fancourt, a links-styled course on the southwestern coast of South Africa.

The Presidents Cup started in 1994. The United States won 21 1/2-10 1/2 three years ago at the Robert Trent Jones course in Gainesville, Va.

The matches are expected to return to Virginia in 2005, then move to Canada in 2007 to avoid traveling halfway around the world. Most of the International team players have homes in the United States.


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