US Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples announced that Michael Jordan is returning to serve as one of his assistants at the 2011 matches in Melbourne, Australia. In a press conference at Royal Melbourne on Monday, Couples and Greg Norman discussed next year’s competition and revealed their selections for assistant captain.
Couples said the former basketball superstar will join the team again, along with Champions Tour player Jay Haas, both of whom helped lead the Americans to victory at Harding Park in 2009. Meanwhile, the recently-remarried (again!) Norman chose Frank Nobilo as one of his two assistants and will announce his “equal to Michael Jordan” next year. (It’s not a golfer).
Jordan’s presence created some controversy at the 2009 Presidents Cup. He was reportedly asked by the PGA Tour not to attend the opening ceremony, resulting in the caddies to write the No. 23 on their hats as a sign of solidarity. (Instead, MJ played Olympic Golf Club.) The 6’5″ cigar-puffing bandit also caused San Francisco officials to have a minor meltdown because he was illegally smoking cigars. Otherwise, Jordan had a great time as the team mascot, as he explained.
Most recently, Jordan was spotted for a picture op. supporting the US team at the Ryder Cup matches in Wales.
Couples voiced some uncertainty (but none more than usual) on whether the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats could attend due to potential scheduling difficulties with the NBA season starting around the same time, but said, “[Jordan’s] pretty sure he’ll make it.”
“I can’t wait,” Jordan said. “I had such a good time in San Francisco with Freddie, Jay and the team back in 2009. I love golf, the team atmosphere and, of course, competition, and to be in the locker room with some of the best golfers on the planet was a great experience.”
And a free trip to Australia! — who would turn that down?