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U.S. Team Captains Blog: Vol 1
Not only was it great to return to the PGA TOUR, but it felt a little different knowing that we are officially into 2019 and that the Presidents Cup is a less than a year away. For me, personally, it was great to shake off some of the rust and see improvement throughout the week. I struggled a little this week with my putting and seeing the lines, but overall, each day got a little bit better. I have a better understanding at the start of this year knowing what I can do and what to expect. It’s nice to start the year off with that understanding instead of the unknown that I faced last year.
I was able to spend the first two rounds of the Farmers Insurance Open playing with Tony Finau and Xander Schauffele. I got a chance to know Tony last year quite a bit at the Ryder Cup. We played a practice round together. He has all the tools you look for in a player and a teammate.
Generation Next: @TigerWoods got an up-close look at a couple of his Presidents Cup team-member prospects during the first round of the @FarmersInsOpen. pic.twitter.com/VbRPeSsGrR— GOLFTV (@GOLFTV) January 25, 2019
Generation Next: @TigerWoods got an up-close look at a couple of his Presidents Cup team-member prospects during the first round of the @FarmersInsOpen. pic.twitter.com/VbRPeSsGrR
Xander has clearly put himself in great position to be on our team when we head to Melbourne in December. In November, he came from behind to take down Justin Rose, the No. 1 player in the world, at a World Golf Championships event. Winning a World Golf Championships is special on its own, but not many people have beaten Rosey over the last year. He followed that up with a crazy good Sunday final round and a win in Hawaii.
The only guy that might be on as good of a roll as Xander is Bryson. I saw highlights of his victory in Dubai. Very impressive to travel internationally and get a win. I admire his work ethic and his dedication to the game. He approaches things from a different way, but he is disciplined and always tries to learn more.
I won USGA titles before these guys were born. That’s tough to get my head around. When they saw me at my best, they were just getting started in golf. That’s similar to me when I was watching Jack and other top players dominate the game and then I was able to come out and compete against them. In this sport, you get to play with the people you look up to. That’s unique.
While these young guys are playing well, Matt Kuchar has made a jump in the standings with two wins already this season. Kuch is a veteran of the Presidents Cup and he’s one of the players who brings a lot of fun and laughs to the team room.
A few of the familiar faces from the International Team played well last week with Adam Scott, Hideki Matsuyama and Jason Day all doing well at Torrey Pines. There is no doubt that Ernie is going to have the International Team ready to play.
Looking back a few months, I was able to make a trip down to Australia and visit Melbourne in December of last year. It’s been awhile since I was last in Australia and I was reminded of how much I love the city, the fans and especially the golf course at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club. We packed a lot in to the two days visiting a bunch of cool spots, doing a few interviews and visiting the course to see how things are going to be set up. The Sandbelt region has just an unbelievable collection of world-class golf courses. They are some of my favorite in the world and are a great mix of links and shot-making courses. Some of our younger players who have never been to Australia are going to be blown away. Matt Kamienski and the team of TOUR staff in Australia took great care of us while we were there. Check out this video recapping our time in Melbourne.
There is a lot to build on following the way that I finished last year. I’m so excited to be back on the golf course and I know how fortunate I am. The 2017 Presidents Cup played a key role in my comeback. Just being around those guys in the team room as an assistant captain came at just the right time and reminded me of all the reasons why I love this event and this game. It was that event that made me reach out to Commissioner Monahan and ask to be the captain for the 2019 Presidents Cup. I am going to do everything I can to qualify for the team so that I can be out on the course playing. Maybe Kuch and I can bring this back?
Tiger Woods United States Team Captain Playing Captain Presidents Cup
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