Tiger on course to play in Melbourne
TIGER Woods has done the research and knows what it takes to be a playing captain at the Presidents Cup.
And the former world No.1 has given the strongest indication yet that's exactly what he wants to be when the event returns to Royal Melbourne next year.
Woods was picked as captain for the biennial in March, having had spinal fusion surgery last November, before a stunning form resurgence that included a victory at the PGA Tour's season-ending Tour Championship.
Having risen to No.13 in the world, from as low as 666 in 2017, Woods also earned selection for Team USA at the Ryder Cup in September.
He didn't win a match however, and conceded the long haul of the year took its toll.
But now Woods, 42, has declared he has every intention to be the first playing captain in the Presidents Cup since Hale Irwin in 1994 and try to lead his team to victory.
"God I hope so. I just looked at the points last night and I was ninth, so I'd be asking the captain for a pick," Woods said at a function on Wednesday in the US.
"I really hope to be a playing captain, I really do."
Woods has said he wants to make the team on points, and avoid having to use his captain's pick to select himself.
He's already ahead of players including Masters champ Patrick Reed and Rickie Fowler in the Presidents Cup standings, with the final teams not picked until later next year for the December 2019 event.
The 14-time major winner will be making a flying visit to Melbourne this December to scope the Royal Melbourne lay-out and put together other plans for his team.
But Woods, who made his Presidents Cup debut in Melbourne in 1998, the only match the international team has won, is fully aware of how he could manage both captain and playing roles like Irwin did.
"He sat out in the morning and then played in the afternoon so he could control the pairings and do the pairings and submit them and then he'd play in the afternoon," Woods said.
"Then he played first match out in singles on the Sunday."
Woods and International team captain Ernie Els have already agreed to a small tweak in the competition format which could help the US skipper's playing cause.
Players now only need to play one of four team sessions before Sunday singles, when all players play, instead of two.
Meanwhile, Woods blamed his dismal Ryder Cup form on fatigue, citing a lack of physical preparation after a demanding comeback from injury.
Woods lost all four of his Ryder Cup matches in Paris last month as the United States were crushed 17.5 to 10.5 by a rampant Europe.
"It was just a cumulative effect of the entire season," Woods said.
"I was tired because I hadn't trained for it. I hadn't trained this entire comeback to play this much golf, and on top of that, deal with the heat and the fatigue and the loss of weight."