Tiger Woods had a career first Thursday night as he’s the captain of the US team that will face the International Team in the Presidents Cup next month in Australia. That meant that he had the power to make the four final captains picks for the squad… and he left out some big names.
Tiger picked Tony Finau, US Open champ Gary Woodland, and Patrick Reed, who created some drama at the Ryder Cup last year. Oh, and Tiger also picked himself, which makes sense considering how he played in winning the Zozo Championship a few weeks ago.
The picks were made during a live selection show Thursday night on Golf Channel.
Tiger will be the first playing captain in 25 years and it was the right call, as ratings will be better with Tiger playing and he’s also Tiger freakin Woods who’s the Masters champ and coming off his 82nd win:
The one name that didn’t get called was Rickie Fowler, who has been a mainstay on the US Ryder Cup and President Cups in recent years. There’s still a chance he could join the team in Australia if Brooks Koepka can’t play due to injury, but the decision to not go with Fowler was a tough one for Tiger:
Fowler could have easily been picked over Reed, but Reed has flourished in these team matches before. Sure, he struggled at the Ryder Cup last year in Paris but so did most of the US team. I love his fire in these type of events so I’m all for Reed making the squad.
Also not on the team is Jordan Spieth, who had a down year this past season and didn’t make it on points or by Tiger’s selection. Spieth, a three-time major winner, desperately needs to find his form again, which is stunning considering how good he had been in the past.
Many thought Kevin Na and Kevin Kisner would be in the running for the last spot… and possibly even Phil Mickelson. But Tiger has his team and none of those guys will be on it.
The rest of the squad consists of: Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Matt Kuchar, Xander Schauffele, Webb Simpson, Patrick Cantlay, and Bryson DeChambeau.
Team USA will be heavy favorites when the events starts next month at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.