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Rookie Spieth sends Couples a presidential message

By Simon Evans

NORTON, Massachusetts (Reuters) - Rookie of the Year favorite Jordan Spieth sent United States Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples a timely reminder of his form with a superb, closing 62 at the Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday.

The 20-year-old Texan has emerged as a strong candidate to be named as one of Couples' two captain's picks for the October 3-6 showdown with the Internationals at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.

Couples will announce his two picks on Wednesday and, with current form always a strong factor, Spieth's 17-under-par total this week at the TPC Boston will have put him high up on the list of possible selections.

"It would be the greatest honor I've ever had as a golfer," Spieth said after producing a sizzling finish to the final round. "There are just so many great players that are ahead of me in the standings and in consideration.

"Either way I'm very patriotic. I love rooting for the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup teams, so I'll pull hard either way. But it would definitely be a tremendous honor to make the squad," he added.

Spieth, who won his maiden PGA Tour title at the John Deere Classic in July and lost out in a playoff for last month's Wyndham Championship, ended his round in explosive fashion with three birdies and an eagle on the last four holes.

"It was the round of my life so far," he said. "It really was. I shot a few 65s this year and to be able to break the barrier and be under par and keep it going, you know, it was a lot of fun."

Spieth would be a surprise choice for the 12-man Presidents Cup team, though.

He has no chance of making the automatic top 10, to be decided after Monday's final round at the TPC Boston, given that he is in his first year on the PGA Tour and there are plenty of established players also in contention for spots.

Former major winners Jim Furyk and Bubba Watson are just outside automatic selection, while Zach Johnson, Webb Simpson and Steve Stricker were battling for top-10 spots on Monday.

However, Spieth can certainly look forward to the next event in the lucrative FedExCup playoffs, the September 12-15 BMW Championship, even if he described the idea of winning the overall title as "a goal... but a far-fetched goal for me".

But, with Spieth having produced such red-hot form on Monday, very little seems far-fetched at the moment for the richly talented rookie from Dallas.

(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)

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