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November 17 2011

2:13 AM

Norman beams as competition begins

MELBOURNE, Australia – The highly-anticipated Presidents Cup is under way.

The Americans had the honor on the first tee and Bubba Watson took out his trusty driver and found the fairway. Ryo Ishikawa hit first for the International team, lacing an iron into the short grass as well.

As the two teams walked to their second shots, NBC’s Jimmy Roberts spoke with International Captain Greg Norman, without question the most popular Australian golfer of all time. Norman said he was pointing to this day when he accepted the captaincy four years ago.

“I’ve got to be honest with you, I wish I was playing today,” Norman, smiling broadly, told Roberts.

After the second match began, the veteran NBC announcer also caught up with U.S. Captain Fred Couples, asking what he learned as the U.S. skipper two years ago.

“The main thing I learned is that we were in San Francisco and we had everyone behind us,” Couples said with a smile.

The U.S. Captain also said he wasn’t that concerned with the local knowledge the Australians have for Royal Melbourne, an Alister MacKenzie masterpiece regarded as one of the best courses in the world.

“Personally, i think it's a ball-striker’s course and I think we have some guys who can really hit it,” Couples said.

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