The only other time the President & # 39; s Cup was a playing captain was the inaugural event in 1994, when Hale Irwin qualified for the American team on points and was asked to lead the Americans. Three international team rookies – Im Sung-Jae, Joaquín Niemann and Li Haotong – were not yet born when Irwin deftly performed his dual roles and compiled a 2-1 record in the 20-12 victory of the American team.
"Frankly, playing was a piece of cake compared to the captaincy and all the countless things you have to endure," said Irwin, who mentioned the selection of team outfits as one of the many time-consuming tasks he took on .
By telephone from his home in Arizona, Irwin, 74, added: “As a player, it was just to hit the ball up and hit the center and win the hole. That was fairly easy. ”
This year's contestants are required to appear in just one of the four sessions before Sunday's singles games, where everyone plays. The newly introduced change seems to work in Woods' favor because it allows him to contribute as a player without having to worry about overloading his surgically fused back and surgically repaired knees.
For help during the course, Woods has three assistant captains – Fred Couples, Zach Johnson and Steve Stricker – who can help him at daily news conferences or tend to improve administrative details, all the better to get Woods. sharpen his athletic lead.
At the previous Presidential Cup, two years ago at Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey, no one, including Woods, foresaw his return in 2019 to play a major role. Woods suffered from back pain which made it uncomfortable to sit in a cart and he was relegated to the role of assistant captain under Stricker.
After spending 683 weeks as world number 1, Woods had fallen to number 1,142. He had been put aside for competitive golf for seven months and he had spoken frankly about his uncertain future.