- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Turns out that sudden-death playoff Bill Haas won at East Lake was worth more than $11.44 million. It earned him a spot in the Presidents Cup.

U.S. captain Fred Couples used his two picks Tuesday on Tiger Woods and Haas, who won the Tour Championship for his first win of the year.

Couples took Haas, the son of vice captain Jay Haas, over Keegan Bradley, whose two wins this year include the PGA Championship.

International captain Greg Norman took Robert Allenby and Aaron Baddeley, both of whom grew up in Melbourne.

He said Allenby was an “automatic pick” because of his longtime success at Royal Melbourne, while Baddeley made it an easier choice when he tied for third at the Tour Championship.

Bill Haas knew he had to win last week, and he did it,” Couples said. “I could not leave him off the team after that. When a guy knows that second place … and he’ll tell you, second place isn’t good enough. And he understood that.”

He said if Haas had lost the playoff at East Lake and Bradley had finished fourth or fifth _ he wound up tied for 11th _ then Bradley would have been the pick.

Couples said if Steve Stricker cannot play because of an injury, then Bradley would be chosen to replace him. Stricker had an MRI on Tuesday because of weakness in his left arm, although results were not immediately disclosed.

Woods was announced as a pick five weeks ago. Couples thought it was important to let the rest of the Americans know there would be only one open spot after qualifying ended.

Woods, who missed most of the summer with left leg injuries, did not return until August and played only two tournaments, missing the cut in the PGA Championship.

He is playing next week at the Frys.com Open, and will play in the Australian Open the week before the matches.

The Presidents Cup is Nov. 17-20 at Royal Melbourne.

“Things are going great,” Woods said. “We’re practicing very hard up at The Medalist, and I’m playing as much as I possibly can, something that I hadn’t done all summer because I hadn’t been cleared to do it.

“I’m really looking forward to getting my game rounded for The Presidents Cup.”

Couples also considered Brandt Snedeker, who finished 11th in the U.S. standings.

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