Tiger should pick himself - Thomas backs Woods for self-selection at Presidents Cup

By Sports Desk October 16, 2019

Tiger Woods should select himself as a captain's pick for the Presidents Cup provided he is fit to play, says Justin Thomas.

Fitness woes in the backend of the season, including surgery to repair knee cartilage in August, hindered Woods, who is due to return at this month's ZOZO Championship in Japan.

Woods failed to gain automatic selection for the biennial Presidents Cup, which pits the United States against an international team not including European players.

The 15-time major champion can still feature, though, by naming himself among four wildcard selections, a scenario Ryder Cup team-mate Thomas is backing.

"I think if he's healthy and playing well, I mean, I'll take him 100 times out of 100," Thomas said in quotes reported by Sky Sports. 

"I think he knows his body and knows himself well enough to make that decision.

"He's asked me about it and I've told him that exact same thing. For him, it's all about health, and for anybody. They need to make sure their game is ready and their body is ready because it's not just something that you do just to do.

"If he's going to pick himself, he's only going to do it if he's ready and he's playing well. So I guess we'll just have to wait and see." 

Several players are vying for a pick, with Patrick Reed, Rickie Fowler and U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland among them, and Thomas says Woods has been conversing with players already on the team over who should get the nod.

"[Woods] has reached out to all of us on the team about what we think and what we want," Thomas added. "It is kind of a different year, but that being said, it's not a bad thing, it's a good thing.

"It shows how deep our team is and how many great players we truly have with the chance and the possibility of having on the team playing. He's going to make the right decisions."

Related items

  • English leads Mayakoba, Henley penalised with eight-stroke penalty English leads Mayakoba, Henley penalised with eight-stroke penalty

    Harris English claimed a one-stroke lead following the second round of the Mayakoba Golf Classic.

    English used a seven-under-par 64 to move top of the leaderboard in Playa del Carmen, Mexico on Saturday.

    The PGA Tour tournament has been pushed back after heavy rain led to Thursday's opening round being washed out.

    English – seeking his third Tour victory and first since winning the 2013 Mayakoba Golf Classic when it was known as OHL Classic at Mayakoba – had a bogey-free day.

    The 30-year-old holed seven birdies as he improved to 13 under at the halfway stage, ahead of fellow American Vaughn Taylor (66).

    Brandon Todd's second-round 66 left him two shots off the pace, while Danny Lee (70), Adam Long (69) and Robby Shelton (66) are a stroke further back heading into the third round.

    Meanwhile, Russell Henley missed the cut in bizarre circumstances at El Camaleon Golf Club, where he violated the PGA Tour's One Ball Rule.

    Henley was penalised eight shots after using a different type of golf ball than the one he started the second round with.

    The three-time Tour champion looked to have carded a two-under 69, until Henley realised he had inadvertently used a different ball during the round as he signed balls to give away.

    "It was a small dash, a different way it was marked that would have been easy to overlook," said TOUR Rules Official Brad Fabel. "He came to us and said he didn't know how it had gotten in his bag."

  • Lombard holds slender lead in Sun City Lombard holds slender lead in Sun City

    Zander Lombard will take a one-shot lead into the final day of the Nedbank Golf Challenge despite his worst round of the week on home soil.

    Lombard, chasing a first European Tour title, ground it out with a level-par 72 in Sun City to hold a slender advantage over fellow South African Louis Oosthuizen and Belgian Thomas Detry.

    World number 234 Lombard started his third round with two-shot lead and extended that by one, but a double-bogey six at the eighth hole following a dropped shot at six put Oosthuizen out in front.

    Lombard recovered with four birdies in the space of seven holes and despite another bogey at 16, he is the man to catch on 11 under at Gary Player Country Club.

    The 24-year-old said: "I'm still in the lead. I've got to stay positive and I'm really looking forward to tomorrow.

    "I just couldn't get it going today. I didn't really make any mistakes, I just missed two or three fairways that really put me behind the eight ball and you can't attack this golf course if you're not in the fairway.

    "I don't want to sound cocky but it's been a long time coming. I've really made big strides in how I do things on and off the golf course. It's nice to get some feedback and some results from the hard work."

    Oosthuizen is hot on the heels of his compatriot after carding a one-under 71, two bogeys costing him the lead on moving day.

    Detry moved level with Oosthuizen by shooting a three-under 69, while Oliver Wilson rose into a share of fourth spot with a five-under 67 to join Marcus Kinhult on eight under.

    Defending champion Lee Westwood is among six players who are five shots adrift of the leader.

  • Lee fires 62 to lead Mayakoba Golf Classic Lee fires 62 to lead Mayakoba Golf Classic

    Danny Lee fired a nine-under 62 to grab a first-round lead at the Mayakoba Golf Classic on Friday.

    The PGA Tour event finally got underway in Playa del Carmen after heavy rain led to Thursday's scheduled play being washed out.

    Lee, last year's runner-up, pushed into a one-stroke lead after mixing eight birdies with an eagle and a bogey.

    The New Zealander holds a lead over American duo Brendon Todd and Adam Long, who opened with fine eight-under 63s.

    Vaughn Taylor, Mark Hubbard, Zach Johnson and Chris Baker are a shot further back after the opening round.

    Defending champion Matt Kuchar, who held off Lee by a shot last year, carded a two-under 69 to be tied for 44th.

    Due to the rain, the third and fourth rounds will begin on Sunday, while the event will finish on Monday if required.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.