Good preparation vital for Presidents Cup success, say Tiger

Tiger Woods

The 42-year-old also hinted that the 2019 Australian Open could be without many big-name USA players due to its clash with the Hero World Challenge, which will be played the week prior to the biennial teams' event next December.

The 2019 Presidents Cup will be hosted by Royal Melbourne Golf Club and conclude on December 15.

The easy-going atmosphere will likely be a far cry from the one that greets Woods and his USA team next December when they lock horns against an global outfit likely to feature several Australian players.

Woods, the American captain on a whistle-stop tour of Melbourne to promote the December 2019 tournament at Royal Melbourne, has come under criticism for having his own charity tournament in the Bahamas on the same week as the national championship at The Australian in Sydney. We have to figure some of the logistical things between now and then.

The 1998 event remains the only outright win the worldwide team has claimed.

Although his stunning injury comeback has him ranked No. 14 in the world, a 10-month surgery hiatus previous year means Woods sits 16th on the US team standings.

With his resurgence as a player he is now likely to play at Royal Melbourne next year, although to qualify he needs to be in the top eight on the US PGA Tour's points listing at the end of the 2018-19 season.

"As well as getting everyone here from the Bahamas to this tournament, get them rested, getting them prepared and getting them ready to play and compete".

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That was the case the last time the Presidents Cup was played in Australia, in 2011, when the likes of Woods, Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Bubba Watson and USA captain Fred Couples all played the Australian Open the week before. That's what we learned in '98, the guys weren't competitive, they had shut it down.

There is a strong suggestion the Bahamas tournament will be shifted forward by a day to give the players more time to make the trip to Melbourne. "Trying to get guys to stay sharp when it's their break time is going to be the challenge".

While International captain Ernie Els says he wants his team to be playing at the Open, Woods is certain to attract his USA players to the Bahamas and is intent only on ensuring they are ready to fire when they arrive in Melbourne. He shares the record of 24 wins with Phil Mickelson and had a 2-3 record in 1998 and again in 2011 at Royal Melbourne. "We'll have our top eight guys, and hopefully I'll be part of the top eight", he said in Melbourne where he is scouting out the course layout.

"My job is to make sure that my guys are prepared, they're still playing and they're fresh late in the year", he said.

Only three-time major victor Hale Irwin has played the Cup as a captain when he performed dual roles in the inaugural 1994 event. "Jim (Furyk) thought my role was better being focused on playing".

"If we think it's me, then how I can I best serve this team?"

Woods said he didn't think Royal Melbourne had changed much in the seven years since he last visited Australia. "It's very tough. It's tricky", Woods said.

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