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Ryder Cup captains to miss Presidents action

By Robert Jones

Ryder Cup captains Paul McGinley and Tom Watson will be extremely interested observers when the 10th Presidents Cup gets under way today.

Although neither man will be present at Muirfield Village as Fred Couples' United States side takes on the International team captained by Nick Price, Watson's vice-captain Andy North will be there and McGinley will watch on television after play in the Seve Trophy finishes each day.

"I have Andy North there all week," Watson said.

"He has been around these players a lot more than I have and he will be my eyes and ears.

"Right now I don't have any teams that I've already made up in my mind about who is going to play with whom (at Gleneagles)."

McGinley will also be keen to see what pairings Couples comes up with, adding: "A big mark in the sand for me is the Presidents Cup. It has served the Americans particularly well in terms of forming partnerships.

"I think Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson – who won all three of their matches together in the Ryder Cup at Medinah last year – has come out of that, no doubt about it. It will be interesting to see what is done with Jordan Spieth, what he will do with Tiger (Woods)."

Meanwhile, Chris Wood believes it is a "shame" that the emotional pull of playing in the event named after the late Seve Ballesteros appears to be waning, less than two and a half years after his death.

Only three players responsible for the 'Miracle at Medinah' – Nicolas Colsaerts, Paul Lawrie and Francesco Molinari – will compete after Peter Hanson was forced out through injury, with Wood echoing Lawrie's disappointment at the situation.

"It is a strong GB&I team, we are all solid players, but it is disappointing," Wood said.

"It's up to them but I thought it was a bit of a shame the guys who are now living in America didn't want to come over."

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