Ernie Els and Tiger Woods have been named as captains of the International and US teams respectively for the 2019 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia.
While the two golfing legends will be first-time captains, they are the most experienced captains in terms of Presidents Cup competition. Els and Woods both served as captain’s assistants for their respective teams in 2017. They two men were the primary figures in the dramatic 2003 event in South Africa, where they battled each other in a sudden-death playoff that ultimately ended in a tie and the two teams sharing the Cup.
Els has competed in the Presidents Cup eight times (1996, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013), tied for most by an International Team member. He has an overall record of 20-18-2.
“The Presidents Cup has provided me with many of the best memories of my career. To be named captain of the team is an incredible honour,” said Els, who will be the sixth person to serve as a International Team captain, joining Nick Price (2017, 2015, 2013), Greg Norman (2011, 2009), Gary Player (2007, 2005, 2003), Peter Thomson(2000, 1998, 1996) and David Graham (1994).
“There is a fun and talented group of young players emerging from all across the globe for the International Team, and I am eager to accept the responsibility of building a winner when we face the United States at one of my favorite courses and cities in the world at Royal Melbourne. 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,” added the South African.
Woods is also an eight-time Presidents Cup player (1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013) and holed the winning putt for the United States in 2009, 2011 and 2013. His overall record stands at of 24-15-1.
“After working as a captain’s assistant for Steve in 2017, I realized that I wanted to captain the 2019 event at Royal Melbourne,” said Woods, who will be the eighth player to captain the US team after Steve Stricker (2017), Jay Haas (2015), Fred Couples (2013, 2011, 2009), Jack Nicklaus (2007, 2005, 2003, 1998), Ken Venturi (2000), Arnold Palmer (1996) and Hale Irwin (1994).
“The core group of players on the US team have a lot of talent, enthusiasm and great team camaraderie. They are easy-going and fun to be around off the course, but extremely competitive inside the ropes. I have no doubt that Ernie will have the International Team ready to go in Melbourne, and I cannot think of a more fitting captain to carry the tradition of goodwill through competition than Ernie Els. The Sandbelt courses of Australia are some of my favorite in the world, and I’m looking forward to seeing Royal Melbourne again,” added the 14-time Major winner.
Officials also unveiled minor changes to format requirements and eligibility for the 2019 Presidents Cup. Each player shall play a minimum of one match prior to the final round singles, which is a change from past years where players were required to play twice during the same timeframe. Additionally, the top eight players for the International and US Team standings will officially qualify following the completion of the 2019 Tour Championship. Captains will later select four captains’ picks (at date to be determined) closer to the December 2019 event.
The 2019 Presidents Cup will be held December 13-15 at Royal Melbourne, which also hosted the event in 1998 and 2011. The lone International Team’s victory came in the 1998 event, when Peter Thomson led his team to a 20.5-11.5 rout of Jack Nicklaus’ Team USA. In 2011, Fred Couples led the US to a 19-15 win over Greg Norman’s Internationals.
The Presidents Cup competition consists of 30 matches – 9 Foursomes (alternate shot), 9 Fourballs (better ball) and 12 Singles. There are no playoffs for Foursomes or Four-ball, with each side receiving ½ point if the match finishes all-square after 18 holes. Singles matches all square after 18 holes will go to extra holes until a team winner is determined. In a change inspired by the events of the 2003 Presidents Cup, if the match is deadlocked at the end of Singles play, the competition will be deemed a tie and the teams will share The Presidents Cup.
For more information visit www.presidentscup.com