October 10, 2019 / 8:28 PM / 2 months ago

Love backs Woods as playing captain of U.S. Presidents Cup team

CARY, North Carolina (Reuters) - The players in the American Presidents Cup team want Tiger Woods to be a playing captain at this year’s event in Australia, former U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: Golf - The 148th Open Championship - Royal Portrush Golf Club, Portrush, Northern Ireland - July 19, 2019 Tiger Woods of the U.S. on the 18th hole during the second round REUTERS/Ian Walton

Woods has three more weeks to decide whether to choose himself as one of his four captain’s picks to complete the 12-man United States line-up to take on the Internationals at Royal Melbourne from Dec. 12-15.

As far as Love is concerned, it should be an easy decision as long as Woods, a 15-times major champion, is healthy.

“He definitely wants to play,” Love said on the eve of the 50-over-and SAS Championship at Prestonwood Country Club, making a comparison with retired basketball great Michael Jordan.

“If Michael Jordan can run up and down the court and pass the ball, I think I would want him on the team, so I think that’s probably what the players would vote for,” Love said.

“We asked him to be captain knowing that this would probably happen.”

Love observed that Woods probably would have been among the eight automatic qualifiers had a troublesome left knee not hampered him following his Masters victory in April.

Woods underwent arthroscopic surgery after the PGA Tour season in August and plans to play only one official tournament — the Oct. 24-27 Zozo Championship in Japan — before finalizing his team.

Love, who captained the American team to defeat at the 2012 Ryder Cup and to victory four years later, said that while he would have trouble juggling the responsibilities of captaincy and playing, Woods would likely be adept at both tasks.

“He’s not going to let one thing affect another thing,” Love said. “He can focus on what needs to be done.”

Woods, 43, made his Presidents Cup debut at Royal Melbourne in 1998, the only time the Americans have lost the biennial event since its inception in 1994.

South African Ernie Els will captain the International team comprised of players from outside the U.S. and Europe.

Reporting by Andrew Both, editing by Ed Osmond

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