• Official: It’s Els vs Woods in 2019

    Ernie Els to captain
    Els and Woods couldn't be separated in 2003

    Ernie Els and Tiger Woods have been confirmed as the respective captains of the International and US Teams for the 2019 Presidents Cup.

    The 2019 Presidents Cup will be held from 9-15 December 2019, when it returns to the prestigious Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

    The return to Melbourne will mark the third time in the biennial event’s 25-year history that it has been held at the renowned Sandbelt course – after editions in 1998 and 2011. Melbourne also holds the distinction as the site of the lone International Team’s victory in 1998, which saw Peter Thomson’s International Team defeat Jack Nicklaus’ US Team, 20.5 to 11.5.

    Els, who is tied with Vijay Singh and Adam Scott with eight appearances in the event, has an overall record of 20-18-2 will take over from Nick Price.

    ‘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.’

    This will be the next chapter in the long-running battle between Els and Woods. The duo have combined for 97 PGA Tour victories, including 20 World Golf Championships events and 18 major championship titles, with 59 additional wins internationally.

    Most notably in this competition, the pair were sent into sudden death to decide the 2003 edition after the completion of the 34 matches at Fancourt. With sunlight fading, both players made pars on the first playoff hole. With Woods in for par on the second playoff hole, Els then knocked in his 12-footer to halve. The two again traded dramatic par putts on the playoff-off hole with darkness upon them. It was then decided to end the competition and declare the event a tie.

    ‘Tiger and I have had some great duels in the past, and I look forward to the challenge of going against my longtime friend yet again in 2019.’

    Els will be the sixth person to serve as captain for the International Team (Nick Price – 2017, 2015, 2013; Greg Norman – 2011, 2009; Gary Player – 2007, 2005, 2003;  Thomson– 2000, 1998, 1996; David Graham – 1994).

    In addition to the announcement of the two captains, officials also unveiled minor changes to format requirements and eligibility for the 2019 Presidents Cup. Each player shall play a minimum of one match prior to the final-round singles matches. This is a change from past years where players were required to play twice during the same timeframe.

    Additionally, the top eight players for the International and US Team standings will officially qualify following the completion of the 2019 Tour Championship. Captains will later select four captains’ picks (at a date to be determined) closer to the December 2019 event.

    Photo: Getty Images 

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