Published: Fri, November 08, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

U.S. captain Woods will play in Presidents Cup

U.S. captain Woods will play in Presidents Cup

Ernie Els opted Thursday for the experience of Jason Day and Adam Hadwin alongside rookies Im Sung-jae and Joaquin Niemann as he made his Internationals Team Presidents Cup captain's picks to face Tiger Woods's Team USA next month.

Woods used his other three selections to choose Tony Finau, Gary Woodland and Patrick Reed, rounding out a powerhouse squad to play from 12-15 December, meaning there will be 21 previous Presidents Cup appearances amongst its members with five players on debut compared to the six of the worldwide team.

Under Presidents Cup rules, Woods only needs to play one match in foursomes and fourballs to be eligible for the last-day singles in Melbourne on December 15.

Finau and Woodland, ranked No.14 and No.16 in the world respectively, were natural selections for their Presidents Cup debuts, Woods said, not only for their stellar seasons, but also because everyone on the team "wants them in the locker room". Meet the group of Americans traveling to Australia.

"There's always that chance, but let's just focus on coming to Royal Melbourne and this competition", he said. Woods also left off Rickie Fowler, who got married and has not played since the Tour Championship; and Kevin Kisner, who is 16-5-3 in match play, including a victory and runner-up in the last two Dell Match Play events.

"Freddie was pretty ardent".

Els said the four would play a "big part" in helping their global teammates navigate the sandbelt layout. "I got back to him after Japan".

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Woods said he didn't know if it would be his final time playing in Australia, but logic suggests there won't be many more opportunities for his legion of Aussie fans.

In a huge boost for the event, Woods named himself as one of four captain's picks to take on a team of Internationals that includes four Australians.

The Internationals have won only once in the event's 25-year history - in Melbourne in 1998, captained by the late Peter Thomson. Cantlay, Schauffele and Woodland are the only players who have never competed in a Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup.

"I do think he will pick himself, I don't think he has any choice", he said.

The former World No.1 will be making his ninth Presidents Cup appearance.

"We've got a lot to do but I'm thinking guys who make the team can play", the four-time Major victor said.

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