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Couples tells Woods he's on Presidents Cup team

Fred Couples ended the speculation on - Tiger Woods will be one of his captain's picks for the U.S. Presidents Cup team.

Couples spoke before the Champions Tour's Boeing Classic on Thursday and confirmed that he asked the former world No. 1 to be one of his two picks for the Americans against the International team in mid-November.

"There's no reason for me to wait until September 26th to pick Tiger," said Couples. "He's the best player in the world forever."

Woods has no chance to qualify for one of the 10 automatic spots for the U.S. team because his shaky play in 2011 left him out of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. He won't be able to play on the PGA Tour until after the playoffs are completed, but the American team will be finalized after the third playoff event, the BMW Championship.

Woods, who made every Presidents Cup team on points since 1998, battled a leg injury this year and played in only eight events. He tied for fourth at the Masters, but that was April, and his recent play doesn't seem to warrant consideration, let alone selection.

The 14-time major champion returned to action the week before the PGA Championship and tied for 37th at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, an event he has won seven times.

It was around this time that Couples went public with his desire to make Woods one of his two picks should he not make the team on points. A badly missed cut by Woods at the PGA guaranteed that wouldn't happen.

Couples appeared to backtrack a bit from his stance that Woods would be on the team after the poor showing at Atlanta Athletic Club.

He told Tim Rosaforte of Golf Channel that he'd like Woods to play more before the Presidents Cup. But with Woods unable to compete in the playoffs, he would have to tee it up in some Fall Series events, something Woods hasn't done in the past.

But this isn't the same Woods.

"Is he playing well right now, no. He almost won Augusta three months, four months ago, so you don't do that by playing poor golf," Couples said.

Woods has fallen to 36th in the world rankings and by the time the U.S. points race for automatic qualifying ends, he might be around that same number in the American points standing. Woods, who is 18-11-1 in his six Presidents Cup appearances, is currently 28th on the Presidents Cup list.

With three elite-field events remaining before the top 10 is finalized and Couples has to make his two picks, PGA Champion Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler and last year's FedEx Cup Champion and veteran Presidents Cupper Jim Furyk are still not on the team.

Based on current form, those players would be hard to leave off the American side, but with Couples' decision on Thursday, unless those golfers make a push in the playoffs, the captain can only bring one of them.

Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker, Hunter Mahan, Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson, David Toms, Bill Haas, Matt Kuchar, Nick Watney and Dustin Johnson are in the top 10 at the moment.

Greg Norman's International team will be finalized at the same time as the American side.