Monday, 10 December, 2018

Tiger: Good preparation vital for Presidents Cup success

Tiger puts Bahamas over Aus Open Tiger Woods keen to be playing captain at Presidents Cup
Sidney Guerrero | 08 December, 2018, 22:23

The 42-year-old also hinted that the 2019 Australian Open could be without many big-name US players due to its clash with the Hero World Challenge, which will be played the week prior to the biennial teams' event next December.

With Royal Melbourne to host the Presidents Cup in December next year, organisers of the Australian Open, which will be played the week prior, would have been hoping to attract some of the game's biggest stars, such as world No.1 Brooks Koepka and fan favourites Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler.

Woods will captain the U.S. in the 2019 edition of the matchplay team event at the Royal Melbourne - Australia's oldest golf club - with Ernie Els captaining the Internationals.

"We have to figure out some logistical things between now and then", the 14-times major champion told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday.

The only time in the 24-year Presidents Cup history that the U.S. team has tasted defeat was at Royal Melbourne back in 1998.

Although his stunning injury comeback has him ranked No. 14 in the world, a 10-month surgery hiatus past year means Woods sits 16th on the US team standings.

"It was late in the year and we didn't have the wrap-around schedule that we have now", the 42-year-old said.

"Quite frankly, we weren't prepared to play and we got smoked", Woods said of the 1998 tournament.

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"We've got a few meetings here today to try to get a plan going forward so we can get the best that we can at the Hero as well as get everyone here from the Bahamas rested and prepared and ready to play". Are they going to cheer when their team does well and we don't make a putt?

"I wanted to see if they've changed any of the holes".

Woods was initially picked by captain Jim Furyk to be a vice-captain at 2018's Ryder Cup, but he dropped out of the role after forcing his way into the team as a player. He shares the record of 24 wins with Phil Mickelson and had a 2-3 record in 1998 and again in 2011 at Royal Melbourne.

"My job is to make sure that my guys are prepared, they're still playing and they're fresh late in the year", Woods said.

But 14-time Major victor Woods has declared he will accept the role of playing skipper - which has happened just once - if he is to earn automatic qualification for what will be a star-studded American team. That's what we learned in '98, is that the guys weren't competitive. hopefully they'll play my event in the Bahamas, but if not, stay competitive, stay prepared, stay sharp.

Only Hale Irwin has played the Presidents Cup as a captain when he performed dual roles for the U.S.in the inaugural 1994 event.

Woods declared the decision would be one for him to mull over with his assistant captains and most importantly the eight automatically qualified players but he had no aversion to being part of that conversation should form warrant it.

"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". "It's one of the most unique courses you can play; it's so short, so fast and so tricky".

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