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Thursday, May 17th 2012, 4:09am

Youth mix in 2011 Presidents Cup opener

Ernie Els, the most experienced player on the International team, will play
with his youngest teammate, 20-year-old Ryo Ishikawa, when the Presidents Cup
gets under way on Thursday.

Els was a member of the winning 1998 International team
at Royal Melbourne and is a three-time winner of the Heineken Classic on the
same course, including a round of 60 while winning ping

in 2004.

On Wednesday, captain Greg Norman made Els and Ishikawa, who only arrived
at the course Tuesday, his opening group in the foursomes.

"We knew Ryo got in late and only had one practice
round,'' Norman said. "Ernie shot 60 around this course so he knows
how to play Royal Melbourne. He has a lot of experience here. The two of them
are communicating extremely well.' ping
g15 driver

Els isn't quite the oldest on the International team - his South African
countryman Retief Goosen is eight months older, although they are both now 42 -
but Norman figures his track record at Royal Melbourne will help Ishikawa,
who's playing here for the first time.

"A bit of experience for a guy who has come in as a
rookie on Royal Melbourne, which is going to help him more, especially on
alternate shot,'' Norman said. "So Ernie telling him to where to position
the ball on the fairway for where Ernie wants to play his second shot in;
so ping
g15 driver

was a natural pairing as far as we could see it.''

Ishikawa is used to being around an older guy at the Presidents Cup. In
2009, after celebrating his 18th birthday a few weeks earlier, Ishikawa beat
then 49-year-old Kenny Perry 3 and 2 in singles.

WARBLING WATSON: It's not destined to be a YouTube sensation, but Bubba
Watson said Wednesday he enjoyed himself at the Presidents Cup gala when he was
asked to dance by Australian singer Delta Goodrem.

The American danced with Goodrem, and even tried to sing a few notes. When
the duet was finished, Goodrem went over and kissed Watson's wife, Angie.

``With that music, obviously I didn't sing very well,''
Watson said. ``It was fun she called me out of the crowd. I was a little
nervous, but stayed out of her way enough. She sounded pretty good.'' ([url=]ping

Watson and Webb Simpson will lead the Americans out on Thursday in the
first fourballs match against the International's Ernie Els and Ryo Ishikawa.

COIN FLIP FIASCO: The plan for the American team was to win the coin toss
for the opening pick for pairings, then defer to the International team.

One problem.

There was no coin toss. Instead, the United States had the choice
as defending champion, and deferred.

International captain Greg Norman went first in 2009
at HardingPark because, as U.S. captain Fred Couples
explained, he was the visiting captain. But now the defending champion gets the
choice, and Norman had
to pick [url=]ping
g15 irons

first again.

Norman countered by naming Tim Clark and Frank Nobilo
to be the first team out - those are his assistant captains. Couples thought
for a moment and said his team would be Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.