Melbourne, Australia: Captain Tiger Woods will lead from the front when the United States begin their Presidents Cup defence after Wednesday picking himself and Justin Thomas for the opening fourball match at Royal Melbourne.
The 43-year-old Woods and world number four Thomas will tee off first on Thursday against Australian Marc Leishman and Chilean rookie Joaquin Niemann for Ernie Els’ International team.
“I think from our side, we had a game plan, who we wanted to start out, and we were committed to putting Justin and myself out there, and that’s who we’re rolling with,” said Woods.
“I got a chance to play all of yesterday. Played a little bit today. Just to try to get a feel for this golf course.
“It is quick and it has dried out and hopefully the forecast will hold for each and every day. The preparation is very simple.”
Vice-captain Fred Couples said ahead of the draw that he expected Woods would play at least three matches over the four days of the biennial matchplay showdown.
Woods has a record of 24 wins, 15 losses and one half in matches at the Presidents Cup, second only to Phil Mickelson’s record of 26 wins.
Steve Stricker will be captain while he is on the course. Woods resisted any temptation to leave Patrick Reed on the sidelines for the first day’s pairings after a row sparked by the two-stroke penalty for moving sand and improving his lie in the Bahamas last week. But International captain Els did omit Australian Cameron Smith who became embroiled in the squabble by calling Reed a cheat.