LOS ANGELES: Tiger Woods and Ernie Els will captain the United States and the International teams at the 2019 Presidents Cup in Melbourne, it was announced on Tuesday.
Former world number one Woods and South African star Els have a long history in the event, including a famous 2003 duel where they competed in a sudden-death playoff that ended in a tie and saw the trophy shared.
Els has played in the tournament eight times between 1996 and 2013 while Woods is also an eight-time playing veteran after making his debut in 1998.
Woods, who is on the comeback trail after missing most of the past two years through injury, has holed the winning putt in the Presidents Cup on no fewer than three occasions.
“Ernie Els and Tiger Woods have each been part of the fabric of the Presidents Cup as competitors and as ambassadors to the event,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan.
“Ernie carries the flag for international golf as a legendary figure both on and off the golf course, while Tiger has been one of the most transcendent athletes the sport has ever seen.
“These two have served, and will continue to serve, as a bridge between past team members and captains who laid the foundation for the Presidents Cup and the stars of today.”
The 2019 edition of the Ryder Cup-style event will take place from December 9 to 15 next year at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
“The Presidents Cup has provided me with many of the best memories of my career,” Els said in a statement.
“Tiger and I have had some great duels in the past, and I look forward to the challenge of going against my longtime friend yet again in 2019.”
Woods meanwhile said his appetite to captain the US team had been fueled by a stint as Steve Stricker’s assistant in 2017.
“After working as a captain’s assistant for Steve in 2017, I realised that I wanted to captain the 2019 event at Royal Melbourne,” said Woods.
“I’m proud to follow in the footsteps of past captains like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Hale Irwin, Ken Venturi, Fred Couples, Jay Haas and Steve Stricker. The core group of players on the US Team have a lot of talent, enthusiasm and great team camaraderie.” — AFP