Friday, 15 November, 2019


Woods picks himself to play Presidents Cup

Tiger Woods Tiger Woods The Canadian Press
Noah Ferguson | 08 November, 2019, 07:54

The Internationals will field six debutants at next month's Presidents Cup, with Ernie Els naming rookies Im Sung-jae and Joaquin Niemann among his captain's picks to take on Tiger Woods's United States at Royal Melbourne.

Woods will announce his four captain's picks today and he is expected to use one of the picks on himself, becoming the first playing skipper since Hale Irwin led the U.S. to a 20-12 win at the inaugural event in Virginia in 1994.

Woods and Team USA will take on Ernie Els and the Internationals in the 13th edition of the Presidents Cup, to be held December 9-15 at Royal Melbourne in Australia. Woods said it was that trip - not just the victory, but the travel - that convinced him he was fully healed from minor knee surgery in August and capable of contributing in Australia.

Of the "about five" heart-breaking non-selection phone calls he had to make, Woods singled out Rickie Fowler's omission as particularly tough. He now has Fred Couples, Steve Stricker and Zach Johnson.

In Ryder Cup matches between the US and Europe, Woods has a record of 13 wins, 21 defeats and three halves across eight tournaments.

Els said the four would play a "big part" in helping their global teammates navigate the sandbelt layout.

Woods said he didn't know if it would be his final time playing in Australia, but logic suggests there won't be many more opportunities for his legion of Aussie fans.

Woods said those three had strong thoughts on him playing, especially Couples.

The 32-year-old can now check it off his list after worldwide captain Ernie Els named him one of four captain's picks on Wednesday night.

Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Cantlay, Webb Simpson and Matt Kuchar all earned automatic spots as the top point-getting Americans.

He has won 24 of his 40 matches since debuting in the USA's 1998 loss at Royal Melbourne, which remains the International Team's only win in the event.

"We've got a lot to do but I'm thinking guys who make the team can play", the four-time Major victor said.

"It's weird talking about yourself in the third person", the 15-time major champion said after reeling off a little of his bio to the media conference.

The former World No.1 will be making his ninth Presidents Cup appearance.

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