Wednesday, December 11

PREVIEW: The Presidents Cup Returns to Royal Melbourne Golf Club

The following preview and images were provided by Rolex, a Presidents Cup partner.

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Presidents Cup returns to Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia from 12–15 December when some of the world's finest golfers, representing teams from the United States and the rest of the world excluding Europe, will compete head-to-head under match play conditions.

U.S. team member Justin Thomas.
This will be the third time Royal Melbourne has staged the event since its inception in 1994. One of the city's renowned sandbelt courses – built on sandy bayside soil that allows bunkers to be distinctively cut right to the edge of greens – it hosted proceedings in 1998 when the competition first ventured outside the United States.

The International team won that encounter, but 13 years later, the U.S. team led by captain and Rolex Testimonee Fred Couples leveled the scores at the venue.

THE U.S. TEAM

The 13th edition of the event marks the first time that both captains have used four wild card selections to complete their teams of 12. Following a remarkable 13-month period, World No. 7 and U.S. captain Tiger Woods has awarded himself one of those wild cards, becoming only the second playing captain in the 25-year history of the Presidents Cup.

Since being appointed captain in March 2018, Woods has enjoyed a career renaissance with three victories, including his 15th major win at the Masters Tournament in April this year. This triumph was book-ended by the 2018 TOUR Championship and, most recently, his record-equalling 82nd PGA TOUR victory at the ZOZO Championship in Japan in October.

The 43-year-old has won more points (24.5) than any other player in the Presidents Cup, one of countless accolades that highlight his sustained excellence over more than two decades and underline his status as one of the greatest ever golfers.

Woods is joined on the U.S. team by three fellow Rolex Testimonees: Bryson DeChambeau and Rickie Fowler, both five-time PGA TOUR winners; and Justin Thomas, a former World No. 1 and Major winner.

The entire U.S. team: Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau, Tony Finau, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Patrick Reed, Xander Schauffele, Webb Simpson, Justin Thomas, Gary Woodland and Tiger Woods.

THE INTERNATIONAL TEAM

Captained by Ernie Els, the International team features two members of the Rolex New Guard: China's Haotong Li, and Joaquín Niemann, the third youngest International team member in the event's history and the first from Chile.

Also representing the International team will be 27-year-old Hideki Matsuyama from Japan, a five-time PGA TOUR winner.

Tiger Woods and Adam Scott.

Among the three Australians who will tee off on home soil is the former World No. 1 golfer and Rolex Testimonee Adam Scott, who was part of the International team when the Presidents Cup was last held at Royal Melbourne in 2011.

Scott said the competition was sure to be embraced by the local population, whose support would be crucial to the International team's hopes of adding to its sole victory in the 12 previous encounters.

"Melbourne is a great sporting city and they're going to love seeing the best players in the world there. Twenty-one years ago, it was in Melbourne that we won the Presidents Cup. I think if there's a time to turn it around, it's this year in Melbourne."
Adam Scott

Rolex Testimonees K.J. Choi, from South Korea, and Trevor Immelman, from South Africa, will also lend their knowledge and expertise to the International team as assistant captains.

The entire International team: Ben An, Abraham Ancer, Adam Hadwin, Sungjae Im, Marc Leishman, Haotong Li, Hideki Matsuyama, Joaquín Niemann, Louis Oosthuizen, C.T. Pan, Adam Scott and Cameron Smith.

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