Woods keen to lead US team

Come­back trail may lead to cap­tain Pres­i­dents Cup

Global Times - Weekend - - SPORTS - AFP

Tiger Woods said Thurs­day he was keen to be a play­ing cap­tain at next year’s Pres­i­dents Cup, and he will draw on his re­cent Ryder Cup ex­pe­ri­ence to help him out.

Woods will cap­tain the US in the 2019 edi­tion of the match­play team event at the Royal Melbourne – Aus­tralia’s old­est golf club – with Ernie Els cap­tain­ing the In­ter­na­tion­als.

The for­mer world No.1 made a suc­cess­ful re­turn to golf this year af­ter miss­ing most of the pre­vi­ous two sea­sons through in­jury.

It has pro­pelled him to 14th in the world from out­side the top 500 and he wants to en­sure he is among the eight top-ranked Amer­i­cans who will gain au­to­matic se­lec­tions for next year. If not, he could still play as one of four wild-card picks made by him­self in con­sul­ta­tion with his vice cap­tains.

“I’m part of the team ei­ther way, okay. We’ll have our top eight guys, and hope­fully I’ll be part of the top eight,” he said in Melbourne where he is scout­ing out the course lay­out.

“If not, then my­self and my vice cap­tains are go­ing to have to fig­ure out as well as the other top eight play­ers who are the next four guys that will be best served to be part of this team.”

But he made clear he wanted to play at an event he has been part of for 20 years. “I want to com­pete. I want to play,” he said.

“Be­ing a vice cap­tain the last cou­ple years, you re­al­ize you re­ally don’t con- trol the play.

“You have to sit back and watch. And as a player and as a com­peti­tor, you want to al­ways be in control and be able to com­pete and play.”

Woods was ini­tially picked by cap­tain Jim Furyk to be a vice cap­tain at this year’s Ryder Cup, but he dropped out of the role af­ter forc­ing his way into the team as a player.

But he said the early prepa­ra­tion for be­ing a vice cap­tain would bode well for his po­ten­tial dual role in Melbourne.

“I had a lot of prep about be­ing a vice cap­tain and be­ing a player, and I was part of a lot of those con­ver­sa­tions about who should be part of the team, all the group texts that we were try­ing to fig­ure out,” he said.

“Now fast for­ward to next year, I’ll be a cap­tain, so I’m go­ing to have to de­fer a lot of in­for­ma­tion to my vice cap­tains and get a lot of their opin­ions and also my team, whether or not I can play and do both roles.”

Woods added that he was toss­ing around a few names to be his vice cap­tains, and he would make a de­ci­sion “shortly.”

The US team won the last Pres­i­dents Cup in Jersey City in 2017 by 19-11, their sev­enth straight tri­umph.

The only win by the In­ter­na­tion­als in the bi­en­nial event’s 25-year his­tory was in Melbourne in 1998, when Woods was on the los­ing side.

Tiger Woods poses with the Pres­i­dents Cup dur­ing a Pres­i­dents Cup me­dia op­por­tu­nity on Wed­nes­day in Melbourne, Aus­tralia.

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