Tiger Woods made a dry run to Royal Melbourne this week following the completion of his Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. Woods, the captain of the 2019 United States Presidents Cup team, will have to make a similar trek next year as the Americans will look to win the matches for the eighth straight time.
One of the biggest questions that will play out over the next 12 months will be Woods’ capacity on the team — whether or not he is a playing captain or simply calling the shots from a golf cart.
“I’m part of the team either way,” Woods said on Wednesday. “After the Tour Championship, we’ll have our top eight guys, and hopefully I’ll be part of the top eight. 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, to come down here and compete and play against the Internationals.
“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. I’m going to have to defer a lot of information to my vice captains and get a lot of their opinions, whether or not I can play and do both roles.”
During his few days in Melbourne, Woods made the various press rounds as well as visited Royal Melbourne Golf Club, the site of the most recent International Team victory in 1998.
“We didn’t have the wraparound schedule like we do now. The guys took quite a bit of time off, and quite frankly, we weren’t prepared to play, and we got smoked,” Woods said of the 20½ – 11½ defeat. “The Internationals came out ready, prepared to play, 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.
— Presidents Cup (@PresidentsCup) December 5, 2018
The course was mostly how Woods remembers it, which he said is unlike most modern Tour courses that are constantly lengthened and tweaked in an effort to challenge the game’s best players.
“Normally over the course of time, a lot of golf courses get modernized, get lengthened, change different angles, add bunkers, whatever it may be, but they haven’t done that at Royal [Melbourne],” Woods said. “It’s the same golf course. It could be fast, it could be hot, it could be cool. You just never know.”
The matches will take place in December 2019.