Tiger’s historic Presidents Cup call

Tiger Woods has sent Australian golf fans into a spin by naming himself as a playing captain for the upcoming Presidents Cup against an International team at Royal Melbourne in December.

Woods claimed his 15th major title at the Masters in April and won his 82nd US PGA Tour title at the Zozo Championship in Japan two weeks ago.

“As captain, I’m going to choose Tiger Woods as the last player on the team,” Woods said. “He’s made … nine Cups and he’s played in Australia twice in the Presidents Cup, so this will be his third appearance as a player. And I find it interesting talking in the third person.”

The decision from Woods to name himself as a playing-captain makes him only the second person to do so since American Hale Irwin did it during the inaugural edition in 1994.

"I'm going to choose Tiger Woods."

A third-person explanation on why @TigerWoods picked Tiger Woods. 😂 pic.twitter.com/OLYrHSWERO

The US superstar admitted in a conference call to announce his captain’s selections that piloting the team — choosing pairings and plotting strategy — while playing would be “a lot of work.”

But the decision had been widely expected since his victory at the Zozo Championship — his first outing since arthroscopic surgery two months ago to address knee trouble that had slowed him since his triumph at Augusta National.

As Woods himself said after his victory in Japan: “As a player, I got the captain’s attention.” Woods said he would rely on help from assistant captains Steve Stricker, Fred Couples and Zach Johnson to keep the United States on track.

Tiger Woods isSource:AFP

“It’s going to be difficult but I always knew I had three amazing assistants,” Woods said. “Two guys who have won Presidents Cup and Zach, who will be a future captain.

“Three great minds to help me when I’m playing.

“With the new rules, I just have to play one match prior to the singles,” he added. “Two matches minimum. It could be more. It’s about me understanding the guys, and understanding the golf course as well.”

Woods said his assistants had offered plenty of advice on whether to choose himself to play.

“Freddie was pretty ardent,” Woods said. “You’re on the team, quit being stupid (he said). At the time, I haven’t even swung a club,” Woods said. “I got back to him after Japan.”

HOW TO WATCH

Channel Nine have the free-to-air broadcast rights for all 27 hours of live competition during the 2019 Presidents Cup in December.

The Presidents Cup will also be available in Australia via on-demand video streaming service GOLFTV.

Nine have exclusive free-to-air broadcast right of the 2019 Presidents Cup.Source:News Corp Australia

TICKETS

General Admission Adult tickets start at $50, and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

WHERE IS IT BEING HELD

Royal Melbourne Golf Club will host the 2019 Presidents Cup for the first time since 2011. It is the only international venue to have held the tournament more than once. The International team had their most recent victory at the same venue in 1998.
WHAT IS THE FORMAT

There will be five rounds played from Thursday, 12 December to Sunday, 15 December. While the exact format is yet to be confirmed, the Presidents Cup typically consists of foursomes and four-ball matches, with additional singles matches on the final day. Thirty matches are played in total, the team with the most victories determining the winner.

INTERNATIONAL TEAM

Ernie Els will become the second South African to captain the International team at the Presidents Cup. Pic: Michael KleinSource:News Corp Australia

Ernie Els (South Africa) — non-playing captain

K.J.Choi (South Korea) — non-playing assistant

Geoff Ogilvy (Australia) — non-playing assistant

Trevor Immelman (South Africa) — non-playing assistant

Mike Weir (Canada) — non-playing assistant

Marc Leishman (Australia)

Hideki Matsuyama (Japan)

Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa)

Adam Scott (Australia)

Abraham Ancer (Mexico)

Li Haotong (China)

Pan Cheng-tsung (Chinese Taipei)

Cameron Smith (Australia)
UNITED STATES TEAM

Tiger Woods will captain the United States team for the first time in 2019. (Photo by TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA / AFP)Source:AFP

Tiger Woods — playing captain

Fred Couples — non-playing assistant

Zach Johnson — non-playing assistant

Steve Stricker — non-playing assistant

Brooks Koepka

Justin Thomas

Dustin Johnson

Patrick Cantlay

Xander Schauffele

Webb Simpson

Matt Kuchar

Bryson DeChambeau

Gary Woodland

Patrick Reed

Tony Finau

PRESIDENTS CUP HISTORY

The Presidents Cup was established in 1988 by the PGA Tour. The inaugural event was held in Gainesville, Virginia, with the United States team winning 20-12.

There have been 13 Presidents Cup tournaments to date, with the United States winning 11, the International team winning one, and a tied event in 2003.

America’s Phil Mickwelson holds the record for most appearances for a team (12) and most points (32.5).

Each contest has an Honorary Chairman, which in the past has included Barack Obama, John Howard, Julia Gillard and Donald Trump.

International coach David Graham & Greg Norman (R) during the final round of Presidents Cup Golf Tournament at Gainesville in 1994.Source:AFP

RECENT VICTORS

2017 — United States (19-11)

2015 — United States (15.5-14.5)

2013 — United States (18.5-15.5)

2011 — United States (19-15)

2009 — United States (19.5-14.5)

2007 — United States (19.5-14.5)

2005 — United States (18.5-15.5)

2003 — Tied (17-17)

2000 — United States (21.5-10.5)

1998 — International (20.5-11.5)

1996 — United States (16.5-15.5)

1994 — United States (20-12)

with AFP

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