Tiger Woods Selects Himself as 1 of 4 Captain's Picks for 2019 Presidents Cup

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 8, 2019

Tiger Woods of the United States smiles during a winner's ceremony after winning the Zozo Championship PGA Tour at the Accordia Golf Narashino country club in Inzai, east of Tokyo, Japan, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Lee Jin-man/Associated Press

Tiger Woods picked himself and three other top golfers as his captain's picks for the United States team at the 2019 Presidents Cup.

Patrick Reed, Gary Woodland and Tony Finau were the other selections, leaving off big names like Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, among others. 

The first eight spots were given to those who automatically qualified, including Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka.  

Woods choosing himself was arguably the most controversial selection, especially considering no captain has played at the Presidents Cup since Hale Irwin 25 years ago, per Rob Quirk of KOAA.

He explained that he will be able to handle the responsibility.

"I have dual roles, and the players wanted me to play in the event," he said Thursday, per Golf Channel's Tiger Tracker. "It is going to be difficult, but I'm going to have amazing assistants."

He's also coming off a first-place finish at the Zozo Championship in late October, which he felt was significant.

"I hadn't played. I didn't make the Tour Championship," Woods explained, per Jason Sobel of Action Network. "For me, the Zozo Championship was big. It validated that I could help the team."

Adding in his win at the Masters last April, it's clear Woods can still play a significant role for Team USA.

Meanwhile, Woodland also won a major title this year at the U.S. Open and is coming off a strong overall season. Reed and Finau have not only been among the best Americans on tour, but they also have experience representing their country at either the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup.

These selections left no room for Fowler, who had six top-10 finishes and one win in 2019.

The International Team is captained by Ernie Els and headlined by Hideki Matsuyama and Adam Scott. The two teams will first clash at Royal Melbourne Golf Club on Dec. 9.

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