2004: Nicklaus, Player set for Presidents rematch

In what likely will be titled “Unfinished Business,” the 2005 Presidents Cup in Virginia will have two familiar captains at the helm: Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, who were scheduled to be named by PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem April 27.

Looking to finish what was started in South Africa last November, when a three-hole playoff between Tiger Woods and Ernie Els failed to determine a winner after a 17-17 tie, Nicklaus and Player agreed to captain the U.S. and International teams, respectively, when the matches return to Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in 2005.

Sources said both Hall of Fame legends had been reluctant to participate initially, but agreed to support the event. Before the Masters earlier this month, Nicklaus and Player were approached by Finchem to gauge their interest in one last captaincy.

Player and Nicklaus were determined to make last year’s Presidents Cup a shining example of sportsmanship, to the point they agreed on the green of the third playoff hole to share the cup. Normally, the team which won the cup previously (in this case, the United States), would have retained the cup.

“I am absolutely flattered and excited that Gary and I have been asked to again be captains at the Presidents Cup in 2005,” said Nicklaus, 64. “Last year’s matches make for a hard act to follow, but Gary and I are looking forward to the challenge.”

Player, 68, said he also was looking forward to his second stint as captain.

“The fact that Jack Nicklaus will act as opposing captain is like ‘icing on the cake,’ as he and I saw eye-to-eye on everything last year,” Player said. “Although we believe the tie was the best way to settle the 2003 Presidents Cup, I’m sure we both now will relish the chance of an outright victory.”

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