Tiger Woods not ruling out picking himself for Presidents Cup

tiger woods justin thomas Rob Schumacher/USA TODAY Sports

Tiger Woods not ruling out picking himself for Presidents Cup

Golf

Tiger Woods not ruling out picking himself for Presidents Cup

By

The U.S. has lost just once in 12 editions of the Presidents Cup.

Tiger Woods played on that losing squad.

It was in 1998, at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia, when an unprepared U.S. team got shellacked, 20½-11½.

“Quite frankly, some of the guys didn’t play or practice that much,” Woods said. “It was our offseason, and we got beat pretty badly.”

FORWARD PRESS PODCAST: Previewing the Tour Championship

Woods is making sure that won’t happen again. As the captain of this year’s team that will head to Royal Melbourne in December for the 13th Presidents Cup, Woods has already pressed his team to play during the fall schedule of the upcoming 2019-20 wraparound season to be sharp when the matches roll along.

Woods pressed this point when he gathered 18 of the top 20 in the points race for a meeting at Liberty National during the Northern Trust, the first event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

“One-hundred percent,” Woods said during a conference call Monday when asked if he’ll urge his troops to play enough in the fall to be ready. “We talked about that, how important it is to be committed to the team and to the event and to each other, and that means playing and being prepared.

“It is important to be solid, be fresh, and to be sharp because we’re going overseas and we’re playing against an amazing team. These guys are going to be tough to beat. So we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Team assistant captain Tiger Woods watches tee shots from the second hole during the 2017 Presidents Cup at Liberty National. Photo: Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

There are 11 PGA Tour events plus Woods’ Hero World Challenge leading into the Presidents Cup, starting with the season opener Sept 12-15 in the Military Tribute at the Greenbrier.

Woods’ season ended Sunday at the BMW Championship near Chicago when he failed to qualify for this week’s season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta, which he won last year. It was a disappointing conclusion to a season highlighted by his stunning victory in the Masters.

Woods is scheduled to play in two of the events leading to the Presidents Cup – the Hero in the Bahamas and the Zozo Championship on Oct. 24-27 in Japan. He’s also planning on playing a lot of matches at his home course, the Medalist in Florida, against many members of his team.

Woods still could pick himself as one of the four discretionary picks he’ll be making in November. He’ll determine if he sees enough from himself during practice, matches against members of the team and his play in the Zozo.

And he said he won’t be pressured – not by the PGA Tour or TV executives – to pick himself.

“My job as the captain is to put together the best team possible and try and put together the best 12 guys,” he said. “We’ll be going through the whole process of having open communication with our top eight guys and my vice captains. That is something that we will certainly talk about, whether I should play or not play.

“Ultimately it’s going to be my call whether I do play or not as the captain. But I want to have all of their opinions before that decision is made.”

The top eight were determined at the conclusion of the BMW Championship, led by world No. 1 Brooks Koepka. He’s joined for now by Dustin Johnson, BMW champion Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Matt Kuchar, Webb Simpson, Patrick Cantlay and Bryson DeChambeau.

All are ranked in the top 19. Cantlay, Schauffele and DeChambeau will be playing in their first Presidents Cup.

“It’s an amazing team of younger guys,” Woods said. “The team is pretty fired up about playing in Australia. It’s everything you could dream of, having an opportunity to be the captain of this great young team, and it’s something that I’m thoroughly looking forward to, and I can’t wait until December.”

Latest

More Golfweek
Home