Tiger Woods is set to get his first run as captain of an American team, and it's going to come at the 2019 Presidents Cup, according to reports by Morning Read and the Associated Press. Woods will be tapped to captain the American side in the biennial competition against the International team, who will reportedly be lead for the first time by Ernie Els.
An announcement is expected Tuesday making official the captain's matchup for Royal Melbourne.
Woods has been a vice-captain in each of the last two American team competitions, helping out Davis Love III in the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine in Minnesota and aiding Steve Stricker as U.S. captain in the 2017 Presidents Cup at Liberty National in New Jersey. Woods has been said to be enthralled with the strategic components of setting lineups and teams for the matches.
Woods takes over an American side which near won the Presidents Cup on Day 3 of four before finishing off a 19-11 victory over the Internationals to claim a seventh-consecutive win in the series. The Americans have only lost once since the competition began, when the U.S. fell in 1998 at Royal Melbourne in Australia, carrying a total 10-1-1 record.
Els will take over for Nick Price, who suffered three losses as International captain. However, Price did manage to influence a change in the competition setup, cutting the number of matches to be able to compete with the American depth and give the International side a better chance of winning, which they nearly did in 2015 in South Korea. Els was matched against Woods in a 2003 sudden-death playoff in South Africa for the Presidents Cup when captains Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player picked their respective best players following a tied match. Due to darkness, the playoff was called off and the matches declared a draw.
This matchup will certainly cause waves in the golf world, hopefully offering some early reinvigoration after the 2017 drubbing. Morning Read reports more format changes could be coming, too, perhaps reducing the total available points to 28, like the Ryder Cup.
Woods could, of course, entertain the possibility of being a playing captain. He discussed being a playing vice-captain with 2018 Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk, and Woods said he liked the idea of being both a player and vice-captain. The last playing captain in either major international team competition, the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup, was Arnold Palmer in 1963.