Tiger Woods named Presidents Cup captain, wants to make team on points

Ruben Ruiz
March 15, 2018

The 14-time major victor will captain the U.S. team and South African Ernie Els will captain the global side when the event is played at Royal Melbourne Golf Club late next year.

The Presidents Cup, which began in 1994, was a way to include players from outside of Europe in a Ryder Cup-style event, will be played for the third time at Royal Melbourne in Australia - the site of the only worldwide victory, in 1998, when Woods played the competition for the first time.

"It came about just through a group text with Davis, Freddie (Couples), Jim (Furyk) and Steve and who we thought might be the next captain and they said that you would probably be on the short list", Woods said.

Woods is playing for the fourth time in five weeks, and likely the last time prior to the Masters, at this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Woods' runner-up finish at last week's Valspar Championship in Florida has sparked expectation for many that he won't just be a captain for the 2019 Presidents Cup but a valuable competitor and follow in the footsteps of countryman Hale Irwin who captained and played in the event's inaugural staging in 1994. He was an assistant to Steve Stricker in the Presidents Cup previous year, and he already has agreed to be a vice captain at the Ryder Cup this fall in France for the second straight time.

A phone message left by Morning Read with a PGA Tour official who has responsibility for administering the biennial Presidents Cup was not returned.

"Just enjoy this, " Woods said of the possibility of increased expectations.

Els and Woods featured prominently in the event's only draw when they faced each other in a sudden-death playoff in 2003 in South Africa to decide the trophy only to have it declared a tie when fading light forced an end to play after three extra holes.

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If it does come to that point it just won't be my decision.

And while his upcoming gig as a Prez Cup chief no doubt paves the way for Woods to head up a more prestigious Ryder Cup one day, for now it's pretty clear what Tiger expects of himself in 2019 - and Els agreed.

"To be named captain of the team is an incredible honour. I could make the team on points".

Els has competed in the Presidents Cup eight times (1996‚ 1998‚ 2000‚ 2003‚ 2007‚ 2009‚ 2011‚ 2013)‚ tied for most by an International Team member.

"After working as a captain's assistant for Steve in 2017, I realised that I wanted to captain the 2019 event at Royal Melbourne", said Woods. Woods and Els offer two of the highest-caliber names in golf.

"It's a home game for us, so we would like to think that we're going to have the majority of the support and the crowd can really get behind us a little bit more", he said.

Woods has finished in the top 15 in each of his last two PGA Tour starts.

"We couldn't believe the amount of pressure we felt and we both had won major championships, but nothing felt like that", Woods said.

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