Tiger Woods has made history and become only the second player in the history of the Presidents Cup to pick himself to play a part. It was expected that the American wouldn’t pick himself and focus on his captain responsibilities for the foursomes on Friday.
However, he has poured cold water on that hope as he has selected to partner himself with Justin Thomas. Ernie Els has however decided to mix up his selections.
The second day at Royal Melbourne tees off on Friday, but Woods will once against be handing over the role as captain to Steve Stricker. The USA are currently trailing in the contest 4-1 after the opening round of action.
Woods Only Second Captain To Play
There is method in the madness of Woods as he and Thomas did team up to win the only American point on the opening day of the competition. Woods and Thomas will once again be looking to put the Americans back on the comeback trail when they come up against Byeong Hun and Hideki Matsuyama.
However, Woods is setting an unexpected precedence by selecting himself to play in the competition as that had only happened on one previous occasion.
In the other partnerships, Dustin Johnson will be playing alongside Matt Kuchar; who will be making his first appearance of the week. The two players will come up against stiff competition in the form of Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott on Friday’s opening match.
Patrick Reed wasn’t given the warmest welcome when he stepped out in front of the fans in Australia. However, he will tee off alongside Webb Simpson as they come up against Abraham Ancer and Marc Leishman.
Couple Of Changes Made
Despite losing their opening match, Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay will stay together as they come up against a new pairing. Sungjae Im drops out, and he is replaced by Joaquin Niemann to partner Adam Hadwin.
Im will instead join forces with Australian born Cameron Smith. The new pairing will play against Rickie Fowler and Gary Woodland on Friday. The latter of those players had a rough opening day as he couldn’t secure a birdie.
There is no place in the pairings for Haotang Li, who has been dropped by the international side. Likewise, C. T. Pan is also out despite winning on the opening day. Bryson DeChambeau and Tony Finau are the two Americans that will be missing out when play resumes on Friday.
It will be a big day for the American team as they try and get themselves back in contention against the international players. Kuchar and Johnson will start the action at the tee first.
Cantlay and Schauffele will then take over the reins before it’s the turn of Reed and Simpson. Woods and Thomas are then set to take over before the final pairing of Fowler and Woodland will be expected to pull the US to within touching distance ahead of the weekend’s action.