By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
AKRON, Ohio -- You can bet that Greg Norman, who captains the International Team for the Presidents Cup, will be watching today's final round of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational with great interest.
The top three players on the leaderboard -- Adam Scott, Jason Day and Ryo Ishikawa -- are expected to be playing for Norman in November at Royal Melbourne when the matches are renewed for the ninth time. Day, who is 23, currently leads the standings while Scott is fourth and Ishikawa is 13th. The top 10 after next month's BMW Championship automatically make the team and Norman has two Captain's Picks.
"What I am seeing on the leaderboard of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational this week illustrates once again how the pendulum of golf continues to swing in a global direction," Norman said. "Take for instance, the development that has taken place with Ryo since he blasted on the scene leading up to the 2009 Presidents Cup and the emergence of a "new star" in Jason Day, with his very impressive climb up the ladder of the world rankings, ... to a veteran and "old boy" of this trio Adam Scott, who seems to have found his competitor level and skills that propelled him into the top five in the world at one stage."
Day, who finished second at the Masters and the U.S. Open, will be playing on his first Presidents Cup. The 31-year-old Scott has played in four Presidents Cups while Ishikawa, who is 19, made his debut in 2009 at Harding Park when he joined the Aussie as one of Norman's Captain's Picks.
"I have been very open about my thoughts and opinions on the fact that the game of golf has truly gone global again, reminiscent of the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s," Norman said. "With the domination of Northern Ireland, England, South Africa, Argentina and Europe over the past few years, and now, this week the other side of the world is stepping up to the plate and rightfully so.
"I love seeing where the game is right now with the quality and character of players. In the long run, the rest of the world elevating their game will serve as a stimulant for the Americans to elevate their games in an attempt to regain the domination they once had. Professional golf is the healthiest it has been in a long time and with that, it is in a great place."
The United States owns a 6-1-1 record in the biennial matches with the lone American defeat coming at Royal Melbourne.