Tiger Woods will grace the fairways of the Royal Melbourne golf club. (Reuters: Christopher Hanewinckel)
Tiger Woods has named himself as one of four “captain’s picks” for the United States team set to take on an international side at the President’s Cup, taking place in Melbourne in December.
- Tiger Woods has named himself as a captain’s pick for the Presidents Cup, making him the first playing captain since 1994
- The USA team will take on an international team at Royal Melbourne in December
- Jason Day was a captain’s pick for the international team, meaning four Australians have made the side
The captain of the USA team and 15-time major winner continued his remarkable sporting comeback from a crippling back injury to claim a record-equalling 82nd PGA Tour title in Japan a fortnight ago.
Woods tied Sam Snead’s all-time Tour record with his first victory since undergoing knee surgery in August in his latest successful return from injury.
Woods memorably secured an elusive 15th major victory at April’s US Masters at Augusta National — 14 years after he last donned the famous green jacket.
“As captain, I’m going to pick Tiger Woods,” Woods said during his press conference, during which he appeared initially to struggle with introducing himself.
“He’s made nine [President’s] Cup teams, he’s played in Australia twice … I find it interesting I’m talking in the third person!”
Woods, the first playing captain at the Presidents Cup since Hale Irwin in 1994, acknowledged that his “dual roles” is going to be tough, but that he did not want to pass up the opportunity to lead the side.
“It’s going to be a lot of work,” Woods said.
“But it’s one that I’ve been looking forward to for a long time.”
Woods also selected world number 14 Tony Finau, Patrick Reed and US Open winner Garry Woodland.
Despite his inclusion in the playing ranks at Royal Melbourne, Woods does not have the greatest record in team match-play golf.
In Ryder Cup matches between the USA and Europe, Woods has a record of 13 wins, 21 defeats and three halves across eight tournaments.
He does have a better record in the Presidents Cup though, winning 24, losing 15 with one tie.
With Woods picking himself, the powerhouse USA team will have seven of the world’s top ten on-course in Melbourne.
Jason Day picked for international team
Yesterday, international team captain Ernie Els announced his four captains picks as 32-year-old Canadian Adam Hadwin, 21 year-old Korean Sungjae Kim, 20-year-old Chilean Joaquin Niemann and former world number one Jason Day.
“You know, [Day has had a] very solid year,” Els said from Beijing at the announcement of his four captain’s picks.
“He brings a lot to the team. He brings leadership to the team, he brings a lot of experience to the team, and obviously, he’s bringing some home flavour.”
Day’s inclusion brings Australia’s number of participants up to four in the international team, which is the youngest and most diverse in the cup’s 13-event, 25-year history.
The average age of the international team is a shade over 29, featuring players from nine different countries.
Els also added that he would not have been surprised if Woods had picked himself.
“I don’t think he’s got any choice,” Els said.
“He’s in good form, he’s Masters champion, he’s won recently and he’s played in so many matches.
“I think it brings a lot to the event — this is our generation’s best player by quite a distance.”
The tournament will take place at Royal Melbourne from December 9 to 15.