Captain Woods Intends To Play Presidents Cup
A little more than one year ago, American golf legend Tiger Woods sat in the media centre at the Presidents Cup in 2017 just outside New York City and told the press in attendance he was unsure if he would ever play golf at the highest level again.
Fast forward 14 months and Woods has since delivered one of golf’s great and compelling storylines, overcoming a fourth back surgery to claim his 80th PGA TOUR title in August, contend for the prestigious FedExCup title where he finished second, and also challenged in two of the majors before finishing T6 and runner-up at The Open Championship and PGA Championship respectively this year.
The recent winner of the TOUR Championship was on a whirlwind two-day tour of Melbourne, Australia, as the Captain for the U.S. Team that will head to The Royal Melbourne Golf Club for the next Presidents Cup from December 9-15, 2019.
As he prepares to enjoy a well-earned break after a hectic but rewarding year, Woods credited the young U.S. team members with playing an important role in his comeback. “Mentally, it gave me a shot in the arm. The guys really encouraged me to come back and play. The text messages and the calls I got last year through the Presidents Cup, was very uplifting,” Woods said during a press conference alongside the Yarra River in downtown Melbourne on Thursday.
He also made it clear he wants to be a playing captain and help the U.S. extend its domination over the International Team, which will be led by Ernie Els. In 12 editions since 1994, the U.S. has won 10 times, lost once at Royal Melbourne in 1998 and tied with the Internationals in South Africa in 2003 where Woods battled Els in a sudden-death play-off in near darkness.
“Hopefully I can be a part of the automatic eight that automatically qualify. If I don't happen to be a part of that, then it's up to me, my vice captains and the rest of the eight guys who automatically qualify whether who's going to be a part of the team. And that's a conversation I've got to have with my vice captains and the players, and hopefully I'll be a part of the top eight. If not, then we've got to work on it,” said Woods, who is currently 16th on the team rankings.
Woods’ 26 hours in Melbourne began with a photo tour of what he called, “One of the greatest sporting cities in the world.”
His rapid-fire stops included media stunts at the Eureka Tower where the American superstar was challenged with the most nerve-racking six-foot putt in town, on the Eureka Tower Skydeck 88 stories above the city. Just as he drew his putter back, the frosted glass turned clear exposing the cityscape below. Without batting an eye, Woods sunk the putt.
“I’ve jumped out of too many planes for this to bother me,” he calmly stated.
Woods has played in eight Presidents Cups but believes the next edition will be extra special. “You know, I've been a part of the Presidents Cup for 20 years. Now to have the opportunity to be a captain and to lead my guys into an environment that's going to be fun, it's going to be exciting, it's going to be electric, and on top of that, on one of the best venues in all the world. There's really nothing better as a player to evolve into the role of being a captain,” he said.