File this one under “things we never thought we’d see” – Tiger Woods, US team captain.
The Associated Press is reporting that the former world No.1 – who yesterday came up one shot short in his bid to win a first PGA Tour title since 2013 – will be named the American skipper for the 2019 Presidents Cup match.
According to the AP report, Woods will lead the US into battle against an International side captained by Ernie Els.
The two players infamously went head-to-head in a play-off in the 2003 Presidents Cup after the match ended in a 17-17 tie. After three extra holes between the two nominated players failed to break the deadlock, and with daylight fading fast, team captains Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player agreed to share the cup.
Four-time major winner Els has finished runner-up to Woods seven times, including twice in the majors. That’s more than any other player.
Whilst Els might be a logical choice to be the next International team captain, Woods’ anticipated appointment comes as more of a surprise, not least because he will be only 43 by the time the match takes place in Melbourne next year.
All that being said, he has been heavily involved in team events during the last couple of years as he has battled a succession of injuries off the course. He was an assistant to Steve Stricker in the Presidents Cup last year and he already has agreed to be a vice-captain at this year’s Ryder Cup in France for the second straight time.
The 2019 Presidents Cup will be the 13th match in the competition’s history. The US has won ten, with the International team winning just once. The US side is on a seven-match winning run that extends back to 2005.