MELBOURNE, Australia -- The last time The Presidents Cup was played at Royal Melbourne, an ill-prepared United States team suffered its only defeat.
The matches were in December in 1998 and many of the Americans hadn't stayed competitively fresh in the months since the season-ending TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. It showed, too, in the lopsided 20 1/2-11 1/2 score.
Jack Nicklaus was the U.S. Captain that year, but despite the disappointment, the Golden Bear came back to serve three more stints at the helm. He's remained a staunch supporter of the Presidents Cup, and Nicklaus took the time to send a note of encouragement delivered to the current American team on Monday.
"That was nice," Matt Kuchar said. "Any time you hear any sort of comment from Jack Nicklaus, you're pretty excited, so that was a nice gesture. ... He sad, you guys have a great team. We weren't very prepared last year, or last time it was here, and got it handed to us but if you do a good job of preparing I'm sure it will be a great competition."