Presidents Cup and PGA TOUR officials today announced Ernie Els and Tiger Woods as captains of the International and U.S. Teams, respectively, for the 2019 Presidents Cup at The Royal Melbourne Golf Course in Melbourne.
Assistant Captains at the 2017 Presidents Cup held in New Jersey, both Els and Woods will become first-time captains at the event and their star status has ensured an enormous focus will be placed on the Cup in 2019 – before even a single player qualifies for either team.
Els has competed in the Presidents Cup eight times since debuting in 1996, tied for most by an International Team member. Woods, who debuted at Royal Melbourne in the 1998 matches and is also an eight-time U.S. Presidents Cup Team member, holed the winning putt for the United States in 2009, 2011 (pictured below) and 2013 – the only player to clinch the Cup three times.
“Ernie Els and Tiger Woods have each been part of the fabric of the Presidents Cup as competitors and as ambassadors to the event,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan.
“Ernie carries the flag for international golf as a legendary figure both on and off the golf course, while Tiger has been one of the most transcendent athletes the sport has ever seen.”
“These two have served, and will continue to serve, as a bridge between past team members and captains who laid the foundation for the Presidents Cup and the stars of today who are embracing the hallmarks of the event – golf on a global stage, a love and passion for the game and the impact the Presidents Cup has in emerging markets and through charity.”
Els will be the sixth person to serve as a captain for the International Team (Nick Price – 2017, 2015, 2013; Greg Norman – 2011 (pictured), 2009; Gary Player – 2007, 2005, 2003; Peter Thomson– 2000, 1998, 1996; David Graham – 1994).
“The Presidents Cup has provided me with many of the best memories of my career,” said Els.
“To be named captain of the team is an incredible honour. There is a fun and talented group of young players emerging from all across the globe for the International Team, and I am eager to accept the responsibility of building a winner when we face the United States at one of my favourite courses and cities in the world at Royal Melbourne.”
“Tiger and I have had some great duels in the past, and I look forward to the challenge of going against my long-time friend yet again in 2019.”
Woods will be the eighth player to captain the U.S. Team (Steve Stricker – 2017; Jay Haas – 2015; Fred Couples – 2013, 2011, 2009; Jack Nicklaus – 2007, 2005, 2003, 1998; Ken Venturi – 2000; Arnold Palmer – 1996; Hale Irwin – 1994).
“After working as a captain’s assistant for Steve in 2017, I realised that I wanted to captain the 2019 event at Royal Melbourne,” said Woods. “I’m proud to follow in the footsteps of past captains like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Hale Irwin, Ken Venturi, Fred Couples, Jay Haas and Steve Stricker.”
“The core group of players on the U.S. Team have a lot of talent, enthusiasm and great team camaraderie. They are easy-going and fun to be around off the course, but extremely competitive inside the ropes.”
“I have no doubt that Ernie will have the International Team ready to go in Melbourne, and I cannot think of a more fitting captain to carry the tradition of goodwill through competition than Ernie Els. The Sandbelt courses of Australia are some of my favourite in the world, and I’m looking forward to seeing Royal Melbourne again.”
The 2019 Presidents Cup will be held December 9-15, 2019 and will be the third time in the biennial event’s 25-year history it has been held at the renowned Sandbelt course, as the event was previously held in Melbourne in 1998 and 2011.