Woods to ignite Presidents Cup as U.S. look to extend reign

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

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – A biennial tournament that has struggled for relevance under a heavy weight of American supremacy will roar back into life when Tiger Woods returns to the Presidents Cup as a playing captain at Royal Melbourne this week.

The 15-times major champion missed the 2015 tournament and was a non-playing assistant two years ago when Steve Stricker’s United States steamrolled the Internationals 19-11 at Liberty National.

Woods, though, used one of his four captain’s picks on himself and will be front and center at the famed sandbelt course, calling the shots in the locker room and out on the fairways as the visitors bid for an eighth straight title.

Now 43, Woods may not take a big playing load while juggling management duties but his presence is a bonanza for organizers and certain to bring huge crowds flooding to the usually sleepy bayside suburb of Black Rock.

It also spells trouble for an Internationals team short on quality and experience that appears ill-equipped to end the U.S. tyranny.

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