Originally created 09/22/05

Woods paired with Couples



GAINESVILLE, Va. - The United States team once again hopes to put its best foot forward in an international team event. Only this time, they hope their No. 1 asset doesn't trip up.

Tiger Woods will team up with Fred Couples against Adam Scott and Retief Goosen in the opening foursomes match of the sixth Presidents Cup matches.

In last year's Ryder Cup matches at Oak Hill, Woods and Phil Mickelson flopped in their opening match against Europe's Colin Montgomerie and Padraig Harrington, prompting the Americans' demise to snowball.

"We put ourselves in the position of trying to go out first to get a point and get some momentum for the team," said Mickelson, who will partner with friend Chris DiMarco this time against the gritty International team tandem of Nick O'Hern and Tim Clark. "We didn't do that and we weren't leading, we could feel the pressure mount and that was frustrating."

When International captain Gary Player started the draw with a pairing of two players who have won three events around the world in the past month, Nicklaus immediately countered with his marquee pairing.

"On paper, this is just a terrific start to the Presidents Cup," Player said.

Today's six alternate-shot matches will be followed on Friday with six best-ball matches.

The teams will square off in five foursomes and five four-ball matches on Saturday before all 12 players compete in singles matches on Sunday.

Today's pairings

- 1:10 p.m. - Tiger Woods and Fred Couples, USA, vs. Adam Scott and Retief Goosen, International

- 1:20 p.m. - Fred Funk and Jim Furyk, USA, vs. Vijay Singh and Mark Hensby, International

- 1:30 p.m. - Phil Mickelson and Chris DiMarco, USA, vs. Nick O'Hern and Tim Clark, International

- 1:40 p.m. - Justin Leonard and Scott Verplank, USA, vs. Peter Lonard and Stuart Appleby, International

- 1:50 p.m. - Davis Love III and Kenny Perry, USA, vs. Michael Campbell and Angel Cabrera, International

- 2 p.m. - David Toms and Stewart Cink, USA, vs. Trevor Immelman and Mike Weir, International