Tiger Woods open to player-captain role at Presidents Cup

Ernie Els Tiger Woods- cropped

Ernie Els Tiger Woods- cropped

Els will replace legendary Zimbabwean golfer Nick Price who captained the team at the last two tournaments.

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said having contemporary giants such as Woods and Els captain the Presidents Cup teams could have a huge impact on the event and the game of golf.

Tiger Woods has left the door open for Australian Open organisers to entice golf's biggest names to play their tournament in the lead up to the 2019 Presidents Cup.

Woods, who holds the matchplay competition's record with 24 match wins for the United States, and Els, who has won an global side best 20 matches, will lead their teams to Australia for the 2019 edition on December 12-15 at Royal Melbourne.

The U.S. has dominated the matches, posting a 10-1-1 record.

Els and Woods have frequently shared golf's main stage.

Both made par on the 18th hole in the playoff.

"We couldn't believe the amount of pressure we felt and we both had won major championships, " Woods said.

The 14-time major victor could headline a bevy of American superstars vying for the Stonehaven Cup in Sydney if he decides to become just the second playing captain in the event's history.

"The Presidents Cup has provided me with numerous best memories of my career", Els said in a statement. "So I just wondered if that was an opportunity and he said that there's nothing in the bylaws that says I can't do it". It's going to be dependent on myself.

"But it's a long way away".

In addition to the naming of the captains, two format changes were announced. Each captain will now have four at-large picks, up from two - meaning eight players will automatically qualify following the Tour Championship. "But then after a little bit of thought I said, you know what, that sounds like something I really want to do", Woods said. Els, who is 48, said he will concentrate on being a captain.

Woods said he initiated the discussion after getting backing from fellow players and captains such as Davis Love, Fred Couples, Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker.

The 14-time major champion subsequently added: "I would like to get to a point where I would have to make that decision".

He then joked, "But I wouldn't want to have the conversation and go, 'Self, "' referring to picking himself as one of the four at-large choices. Els followed with a 6-foot par putt.

"If you would have asked me at the Presidents Cup a year ago, didn't know".

"We're still trying to figure out the dates of the Hero", Woods said.

"So there's a process and an evolution to it and it's been quick, but still I have to say just enjoy all of this, because at one point, man, that wasn't even a thought".

"I think it's huge for two reasons".

Woods is playing for the fourth time in five weeks, and likely the last time prior to the Masters, at this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational.