Presidents Cup 2019: Tiger Woods says not playing is part of plan

By Sacha Pisani 13 December 2019 42
Presidents Cup 2019: Tiger Woods says not playing is part of plan

Tiger Woods said it would be hard for him to play all the sessions at the Presidents Cup after opting to sit out Saturday's four-ball.

United States captain Woods has been red-hot in Melbourne, where the 15-time major champion has helped the defending champions win two of their points against the Internationals – who lead 6.5 - 3.5.

Following Thursday's masterclass in the four-ball, Woods teamed up with Justin Thomas again on Friday in the foursomes to beat Hideki Matsuyama and Byeong Hun An 1up at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

However, Woods will not back up with Thomas for Saturday's early matches, instead bringing in Rickie Fowler against Marc Leishman and Li Haotong.

Discussing his decision, Woods told reporters: "That was kind of the game plan. It would be hard for me to go all the sessions.

"I've been fortunate enough to go out there with J.T. and we've gotten two points. J.T. played great and Rickie played awesome this afternoon.

"They have been looking forward to playing with one another. They have had success before, and send them back out."

The USA – eyeing an eighth consecutive Presidents Cup title – produced a late fightback to shift the momentum on Friday.

Ernie Els' Internationals threatened to sweep all five foursomes at one stage, before the USA rallied to win two of the final three matchups.

Clutch birdies from Patrick Cantlay and Thomas ensured the USA ended the day only three points behind the Internationals.

"At one point, we were down in four and even in one, and so it looked pretty bleak, but the guys turned it around," American superstar Woods said.

"They played phenomenal coming in. It was important for us to end the way we did and it totally changed the last hour."

On his own match alongside Thomas, who sealed victory in stunning fashion to spark joyous celebrations, Woods added via Golf Channel: "We were just fighting. We were just fighting. It's J.T. and I and we got in our own little bubble and doing our thing.

"We were up early, they flipped it on us and then we were kind of fighting, clawing our way back. Last hole, gives me absolute chills, man."

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Sacha Pisani