- Associated Press - Monday, November 14, 2011

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (AP) - Ryo Ishikawa was arriving late in Australia for the Presidents Cup, but International captain Greg Norman doesn’t expect the Japanese star to have any problems by the time the tournament begins Thursday.

Norman said after the captains’ media conference Tuesday that Ishikawa, coming off a ninth-place tie Sunday in the Japan Tour’s Taiheiyo Masters, wouldn’t arrive until later in the day due to weather problems and flight delays. “There’s absolutely no problem with Ryo himself,” Norman added.

The 20-year-old Ishikawa won his first Japan Tour title when he was 15 and shot 58 last year.

“The great part about Ryo is he’s young,” Norman said. “He can survive the jet lag and survive an overnight flight and get in here. He’s a good enough player, he’ll have enough information coming his way tomorrow about the golf course. So I’m not concerned.”


BUS BONDING: Greg Norman admitted it was an unusual way to create team unity, but an issue with the International team’s bus after dinner Monday may have done just that.

Norman said when the team left a Melbourne restaurant, its bus “bottomed out” and got stuck in a gutter on a side street. Concerned that the bus might get damaged if it moved with the weight of the players in it, they jumped off the bus and helped direct the reversing bus back down the street to a major road.

That’s when the fun began.

“It was an interesting situation where a car was coming up and the guy had his window down and I’m walking up to him doing this (waving arms as if to stop traffic) down the street right and he started winding his window up thinking I must have been coming to take him on or something, I don’t know,” Norman said, laughing.

“He wound up his window and stood and stared right out. And I said, ‘Just roll down your window’ with a smile on my face, and then he got it and turned around and went back.”

The driver must have been surprised to come across Norman, without a doubt Australia’s most recognizable sportsman, playing traffic cop. But there was more.

“We had to back the bus all the way out on the main street,” Norman added. “K.J. (Choi) was on one side and I was on the other side holding up the traffic. I thought that was a good way to bring a bit of team camaraderie together because it was just spontaneous.”


NO STARS AND STRIPES: Some spectators watching the Americans practice at Royal Melbourne on Tuesday did a double take: the U.S. team was dressed in green and gold shirts _ Australia’s national colors _ to raise money for charity.

U.S. captain Fred Couples said when he and International captain Greg Norman visited the Royal Melbourne course last year, damaging floods were creating havoc around the country.

Story Continues →