Woods plays down Presidents, Ryder Cup future
Tiger Woods was quick to play down any talk of remaining a playing captain for the 2021 Presidents Cup and also acting in the same role for the 2022 Ryder Cup after leading his USA team to an emotional two point Presidents Cup victory at Royal Melbourne in Australia.
Captain Woods brilliantly led by example to become only the second Presidents Cup playing captain since fellow American Hale Irwin led his team to victory in the inaugural staging of the event in 1994.
Tiger Woods celebrates winning the 2019 Presidents Cup (Credit: PGA Tour)
Woods, who turns 44 on December 30th, won all three matches he played over the four days, missing only the Saturday fourballs and foursomes for his USA team to come from behind to record a dominate 16-14 success.
It was an eighth win in succession for the Americans in the 13-event history of the Presidents Cup.
In the process, Woods has become the winningest American in Presidents Cup competition contesting 53 matches winning 27, losing 15 and halving one compared to Phil Mickelson who played 56 matches for a 26-16-13 record.
But while Woods was being congratulated at every turn he was more focussed on singling out his team for praise.
“We did it together. We came here as a team. My teammates and my boys all played well,” he said.
“I’ve been a part of teams before where we have won and I’ve also been a part of, unfortunately, this Presidents Cup when we lost 21 years ago,” he said, referring to the USA team’s only defeat in 1998, also at Royal Melbourne.
“So to come here and to do it in this fashion, to do it with this team, in particular, it was an honour for me as a player and even more of an honour to be their captain.”
“I’ve cried in pretty much every Cup we’ve won (smiling).”
“I’ve been doing this a long time. Any time you have moments where you’re able to do something that is bigger than us as an individual, is so much more meaningful and so much more special.”
“The vice-captains (Fred Couples, Steve Stricker and Zach Johnson) did an amazing job of just being there for every little detail.”
“I couldn’t have done it without all their help and all my boys. They did it.”
Victory ensures the USA retain three of the big five team trophies in golf – the Presidents Cup, the Walker Cup and the Curtis Cup.
The only two trophies not in US hands is the Ryder Cup and the Solheim Cup.
But when Woods was asked about the chances of remaining a playing captain for the 2021 Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina and then taking on the same role for the 2022 Ryder Cup in Rome he responded: “We are going to have those conversations in the future but not right now…we are going to enjoy this moment.”
And Woods was asked how he coped with the burden and the responsibility of being a playing captain.
“My responsibily as a captain was to put together the team and then bring the guys together as a team and we did that,” said Woods.
“Now my responsibility as a player is to do whatever the captain says when you go out and play, and that means go out and earn a point. This week as a player and a captain was a juggling act but then the guys understood that and we communicated that going into the competition.”
“There was a lot of different plans that could happen and I trusted all of them from the 11 other players in the team including ‘Strick’s’ (Steve Stricker), ‘Coup’s (Fred Couples) and Zach (Johnson), so it was trust in each other and that is what ultimatly won us the cup.”
“And without Strick’s, Coup’s and Zach I could not have done this. I would not have accepted the captaincy if these guys had not been a part of it.”