Date: August 19, 2009
Author: Luke Buttigieg, Sportal

Scott a ‘logical choice’

International captain Greg Norman says out-of-form fellow Australian Adam Scott was a &aposlogical choice&apos as one of his two wildcard picks for next month&aposs Presidents Cup in San Francisco. The 29-year-old has endured a miserable 2009 season, missing the cut in 10 of the 18 tournaments he has contested – including at all the majors except the US Open – with a tie for second place way back in January in the Sony Open in Hawaii his best result and only one other top-20 finish overall. But Norman, who chose 17-year-old rising Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa with his other wildcard pick for the event at Harding Park from October 9-11, said while others had claims to the berth he had little hesitation in nominating Scott. “Well, I think there&aposs more than one thing you look at in selecting a player, and obviously a lot of it has got to do with past experiences,” Norman said on Tuesday. “When you look back a year ago, Adam was the No.3 player in the world, so everybody goes through a slump.” “Everybody goes through slumps for different reasons; maybe it&aposs not your game but maybe something else is just a little bit out of sync in his life to put him in that situation. I know I&aposve been there.” “In my conversations with Adam over a period of weeks now, I saw a huge boost of confidence from Adam himself.” “It&aposs not an easy task, but at the end of the day, he&aposs got the playing skills, and as Adam said, the team camaraderie, what he can bring to the locker room, the support he gives to the other players, the connection and the experience that he&aposs had playing on the Presidents Cup team.” “He was really a logical choice. He has rededicated himself to more of a higher degree, so he&aposs going to be ready come four weeks from now.” Scott, who in three previous appearances at the event boasts an overall record of seven wins, six losses and two matches halved but a 0-3 win-loss record in singles matches, wasn&apost confident that Norman would pick him. “I&aposm extremely excited to have been picked to play for Greg and (International vice-captain) Frank (Nobilo),” Scott said. “(It&aposs) maybe somewhat unexpected.” “Obviously it&aposs been a tough year, but I really am humbled by them picking me and feel like that they still have the belief that I can contribute to this International team, and I really feel like it will be great for my game and also get out there, and I feel like I can contribute points and contribute in the team room, as well.” As for Ishikawa&aposs relative lack of experience, Norman believes the youngster is more than ready to stand up when it&aposs his turn in the spotlight having played alongside world No.1 Tiger Woods at the British Open in July. “(His) enthusiasm (was what stood out),” Norman said of Ishikawa. “He was phenomenal (at the British Open). He was engaged, he introduced himself to everybody, made sure everybody understood that he wanted to be on the team.” “He played well that week. He stood up to Tiger. So that tells me that he can deal with a pressure situation. He is not afraid of the big moment.” “The other thing which came into my mind is he travels with an entourage of about 50 media people, so he&aposs used to that type of atmosphere, that buzz going on all the time, and it doesn&apost bother him.” “And then obviously winning the other day by five shots was tremendous. It was a no-brainer for me. I like to give young people the opportunity.” “Obviously he has the credentials, but he has to be given the opportunity at the same time. As a captain you&aposve got to have faith in that ability, and I have a lot of faith in him.” Ishikawa said via a prepared statement read by his manager Jumpei Kaneko that he is &aposhonoured&apos and &aposexcited about the opportunity&apos. “When I met Mr Norman at the International team meeting held at the Open Championship in July, I felt strong about his leadership, and I really wanted to be a member of his team,” Ishikawa said. “There are so many great players on both teams, and I&aposm humbled by my selection to be with them.” “Although I&aposll be a bit nervous surrounded by such a great captain and so many great players in the world, I will do my best during the week and hopefully contribute to the victory over the American team.”