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“I just had this idea of coming here, and hopefully to be quite honest, getting a few Aussies behind us and thinking we are pretty nice to come here and raise some money,” he said.

“So I got this idea to wear their colors today. Obviously, it’s Tuesday. I would never do it during the tournament. We are giving the money to the Australian Football League, their charities.”

Couples will give the 15 practice shirts, which have a small American flag on them, to the AFL, the governing body of Australian Rules football. The autographed shirts will then be auctioned online from Thursday until Nov. 26, with the money given to charity groups for homeless youths and disadvantaged Australians.

“It was just our idea of maybe hoping that we sell all of these clothes and maybe make 25,000 or 30,000 Australian dollars and let the Aussie football league do what they want with it.”

“We teed off early and a few people have noticed and made comments. We took team photos today, and a few players were a little bit mystified on why we are not wearing red, white and blue.”


SUBBING FOR M.J.: Champions Tour player John Cook is no slouch as a replacement for former NBA superstar Michael Jordan as an assistant captain for the U.S. team. Just ask Cook himself.

“Obviously, I can bring more of a golfing type of environment,” Cook said Tuesday. “Although, I do still have a pretty good jump shot. I can’t dunk anymore but I can still shoot.”

Cook, who did well to ever dunk at 6 feet, was a late replacement for Jordan. As owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, Jordan couldn’t make it to Melbourne because of the continuing NBA lockout.

“I was always pretty curious about Michael being here,” Cook said. “I think the guys had a great time with him.”

U.S. captain Fred Couples brought the former Chicago Bulls great along to the last Presidents Cup in San Francisco two years ago.