Picking the all-time U.S. Presidents Cup dream team
U.S. team captain Tiger Woods selected some of the best golfers in America for this year's edition of the 2019 Presidents Cup at the Royal Melbounre Golf Club in Australia, but what would have happened if he could have chosen the best American golfers of all time? We posed that question to golf columnist Tommy Raymond and had him select a 12-man dream team full of legends and luminaries.
1. Jack NicklausNicklaus still holds the most coveted record in golf, with 18 major championship wins, and also had 73 titles on the PGA Tour. Though he never got to play in a Presidents Cup, which was began in 1994, it’s obvious he would have made numerous teams in his peak.
2. Tiger WoodsWoods is a captain/player in this year’s Presidents Cup and selected himself after wins in the Masters and ZOZO Championship this year. This year marks his ninth appearance, and along with Nicklaus, he is the most obvious choice.
3. Arnold Palmer"The King” had all of the flair for any era and would have been as good for the Presidents Cup as he was the Ryder Cup. Palmer played on six Ryder Cup teams, won seven majors and won 62 total PGA Tour contests.
4. Ben HoganAlong with Woods, Hogan is the only player to lock up three majors in a single year (1953), nine majors in all and 64 total wins. He also completed the professional grand slam, despite a major auto accident (1949) in the middle of his career.
5. Byron NelsonNelson won 18 times in 1945, including a streak of 11 tournaments in a row. He was hardly a one-year wonder, though, as he took home a total of 52 winner’s checks in his illustrious career.
6. Sam SneadSnead is still tied with Woods at the top of the all-time PGA Tour wins list (82). He pocketed each major except the U.S. Open and played on seven Ryder Cup squads. Slammin Sammy belongs here, no doubt.
7. Tom WatsonWatson won 39 times on the PGA Tour, including three of the four majors (except the PGA Championship). He won five British Opens and nearly a sixth in 2009 at age 59, when he lost in a playoff to Stewart Cink.
8. Lee TrevinoTrevino won 29 times on Tour and two editions each of the U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship. He played in six Ryder Cups and relegated Nicklaus to second place in four of his six major wins.
9. Bobby JonesSome might think Jones belongs higher, considering he pocketed the U.S. Open, British Open, U.S. Amateur and British Amateur during one glorious year (1930). His best would put him on this squad, certainly. He retired at age 28.
10. Walter HagenHagan won 11 major championships and may well have had a professional grand slam if he’d been a bit younger. He was born in 1892, and the Masters didn’t begin until 1934. He played on five Ryder Cup teams and captained six.
11. Gene Sarazen"The Squire” hit arguably the most famous shot in the history of golf, during an albatross on the 15th hole at the 1935 Masters, which he went on to win in a playoff to become the first to win the career grand slam.
12. Phil MickelsonLefty has won 44 PGA Tour contests, including five majors, and has played on 12 Presidents Cup teams. This year’s Presidents Cup will mark the first without him on the team since its inception in 1994.