CAPTAIN ELS V CAPTAIN WOODS IN MELBOURNE
Ernie Els and Tiger Woods will captain the International and US Teams respectively for the 2019 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
The 13th edition of the Cup will be held from December 9 to 15 and will mark the third time in the biennial event’s 25-year history that The Presidents Cup has been held at the world renowned Sandbelt course, having previously been played there in 1998 and 2011.
While Woods and Els are making their Presidents Cup captain debuts, they will be the most experienced Presidents Cup captains ever.
Both have featured eight times as players and were the primary figures in the 2003 event held in South Africa, where Woods and Els competed in a sudden-death playoff that ultimately ended in a tie and the two teams shared the Cup. Both Woods and Els served as captain’s assistants for their respective teams last year.
Woods, who is the only player in Presidents Cup history to have holed the winning putt on three occasions, said he was honoured to follow in the footsteps of the greats of the game as US captain.
“After working as a captain’s assistant for Steve (Stricker) in 2017, I realised that I wanted to captain the 2019 event at Royal Melbourne,” Woods said.
“I’m proud to follow in the footsteps of past captains like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Hale Irwin, Ken Venturi, Fred Couples, Jay Haas and Steve Stricker. The core group of players on the US Team have talent … a lot of talent, enthusiasm and great team camaraderie. They are easy-going and fun off the course, but extremely competitive inside the ropes.
“I have no doubt that Ernie will have the International Team ready to go in Melbourne, and I cannot think of a more fitting captain to carry the tradition of goodwill through competition than Ernie Els.
“The Sandbelt courses of Australia are some of my favorite in the world, and I’m looking forward to seeing Royal Melbourne again.”
Els said the task of building a winning team that can challenge the US dominance was immense, but one he is looking forward to tackling.
“The Presidents Cup has provided me with many of the best memories of my career,” Els said.
“To be named captain of the team is an incredible honour. There is a fun and talented group of young players emerging from all across the globe for the International Team, and I am eager to accept the responsibility of building a winner when we face the United States at one of my favourite courses and cities in the world at Royal Melbourne.
“Tiger and I have had some great duels in the past, and I look forward to the challenge of going against my long-time friend yet again in 2019.”