No slack­ing for Cap­tain Tiger

Woods has learnt from a pre­vi­ous Pres­i­dents Cup what is needed to win

Daily Dispatch - - Classified/sport -

Tiger Woods learned the hard way two decades ago how im­por­tant prepa­ra­tion was for Pres­i­dents Cup suc­cess and he is de­ter­mined to leave noth­ing to chance when he cap­tains the United States at next year’s edi­tion at Royal Mel­bourne.

The 42-year-old has al­ready ex­pressed his disquiet about his own World Chal­lenge tour­na­ment be­ing sched­uled for the week be­fore the De­cem­ber 1215 clash against an In­ter­na­tional team of play­ers from the rest of the world, ex­clud­ing Europe.

Any­one play­ing the World Chal­lenge 16,000km away in the Ba­hamas will not get to Aus­tralia un­til Tues­day – only 48 hours be­fore the start of the Pres­i­dents Cup – and Woods said he needed to en­sure they would still be fresh.

“We have to fig­ure out some lo­gis­ti­cal things be­tween now and then,” the 14-times ma­jor cham­pion said.

“We’ve got (to) try and get the best field we can at the (World Chal­lenge), as well as get­ting every­one here from the Ba­hamas to this tour­na­ment, get them rested, get­ting them pre­pared and get­ting them ready to play and com­pete.”

Woods said the ex­pe­ri­ence of 1998 at Royal Mel­bourne, when he was part of the only US team to lose to the In­ter­na­tion­als, il­lus­trated how im­por­tant it was that the ready to go.

“The guys took quite a bit of time off, and quite frankly, we weren’t pre­pared to play, and we got smoked,” he re­called.

“The In­ter­na­tion­als came out ready, pre­pared, played, and they drummed us. My job is to make sure that the guys are pre­pared, they’re still play­ing and try­ing to stay fresh and com­pet­i­tive late in the year.”

Woods re­it­er­ated that he wanted to be a play­ing cap­tain but said he would con­sult his vice-cap­tains and team­mates over whether to pick him­self if he failed to qual­ify as one of the au­to­matic se­lec­tions.

“After the Tour Cham­pi­onship, we’ll have our top eight guys, and hope­fully I’ll be part of the top eight,” he said.

“If not, then (we) are go­ing to have to fig­ure out … who are the next four guys that will be best served to be part of this team.

“I don’t know if I’ll be a part of that con­ver­sa­tion ei­ther way, as a player, but as a cap­tain, yeah, I’ll be a part of it.” Woods, a non­play­ing vice-cap­tain at the 2017 edi­tion, said tak­ing charge of the Pres­i­dents Cup team was “spe­cial” He knew what sort of cap­tain he wanted to be.

“Well, one that leads our team to a vic­tory, one that the guys will have a lot of fun and re­spect,” he said.

“And one that’ll cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment where it’ll be a mo­ment and a week that they’ll re­mem­ber for the rest of their lives.” – Amer­i­cans were

It’ll be a mo­ment and a week that they’ll re­mem­ber for the rest of their lives


VIEW FROM TOP: US golfer and cap­tain of the US Pres­i­dents Cup team Tiger Woods at­tends a press con­fer­ence in Mel­bourne this week, one year ahead of the 2019 edi­tion to be held at the Royal Mel­bourne Golf Club.

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