Tiger confirms that he & # 039; will play in Melbourne

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Tiger Woods will play in Australia next month.

The leader of the American team for the Presidential Cup in Royal Melbourne confirmed that he would play for the ninth time in the event.

This makes the number 7 in the world the first game captain since Hale Irwin in the inaugural Presidential Cup in 1994.

Woods used his other three selections to choose Tony Finau, Gary Woodland and Patrick Reed, and completed a powerhouse team to play from December 12-15, meaning there are 21 previous Presidents Cup appearances among his members with five players on debut compared to the six from the international team.

Woods, the reigning Masters champion, has not played in Australia since the 2011 edition of the Presidential Cup. Remarkably, he has played in all three editions of the tournament on the jewel in the Sandbelt of Melbourne, including the only victory of the international team in 1998.

Woods was unusually reluctant when he announced himself as the final selection, although all those in the inner circle of the team had been urging him to do it for months.

"It's weird talking about yourself in the third person," said the 15-times-great champion after settling a bit of his bio at the media conference.

"It was a difficult process … for me ZOZO (his recent win in Japan) was a big event and it confirmed that I could still play."

Woods left the door ajar if the Americans would add an additional vice captain to Fred Couples, Steve Stricker and Zach Johnson gave his own selection.

"It will be difficult (to play captain), but I have great assistants – three great spirits to help me while playing," he said.

"But I only have to play one match (minimum) for singles … so the point is that I understand the boys and the course … so that we can all see how it fits.

"It's going to be a lot of work."

Woods said he had regular contact with world # 1 Brooks Koepka, who has some doubt after a recent operation on a ruptured kneecap tendon in his left knee.

Of the "about five" heartbreaking non-selection phone calls he had to make, Woods found Rickie Fowler's omission to be particularly heavy.

But he would not be attracted by someone standing in line to replace Koepka if his injury did not come on time to play.

"Technically, we can change a player until Wednesday (before the tournament starts) … but all I said to Brooks is focus on your rehab and let me know when you play golf,".

"He is on the team right now."

Finau and Woodland, ranked No. 14 and No. 16 respectively in the world, were natural selections for their presidential cup debutants, Woods said, not only for their stellar seasons, but also because everyone in the team put them "in the dressing room" wants "".

He also did not stop with the same assessment of Patrick Reed, the world number 15, but said that he was also an easy teammate to appeal, given his "all-in" playing style in team events.

"He has an incredibly solid record in (what will be his third) Presidential Cup, he is as fiery as they come and bleeds red, white and blue. He will do anything to get you a point."

The automatic selections to complete the American team were Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Cantlay, Webb Simpson and Matt Kuchar.

All 12 of the American team are in the top 22 players in the world, with the international team having only two representatives – Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama – in front of that slot machine.

Woods said he didn't know if it was his last time playing in Australia, but logic suggests there won't be many more chances for his legion of Aussie fans.

"There is always that chance, but let's just concentrate on coming to Royal Melbourne and this competition," he said.

"On paper we certainly have an advantage in the world ranking … but when it comes down to it, and as I told the boys, when we start Thursday, it's 0-0 and anything can happen."

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