Woods relying on high IQ for fast US start

US playing captain Tiger Woods says his team will be across Royal Melbourne before the Presidents Cup opens with the four-ball on Thursday.

10-Dec-2019 By Melissa Woods, Australian Associated Press
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Tiger Woods is backing his star-studded US team to use their remarkable combined golf IQ to get up to speed on Royal Melbourne before the opening rounds of the Presidents Cup on Thursday.

While Woods has played two Presidents Cup tournaments at the famed sand-belt course - in 1998 for a loss and 2011 for a win - almost half of his team have never seen it.

But the playing captain is confident they will be across Royal Melbourne's intricacies before the four-ball begins.

The Americans have 10 of their 12 players in the world top 20 while No.18 Adam Scott is the only one in the International team.

"As players, this is what we do - we travel all around the world and generally, you probably get maybe two looks at it, usually a practice round or a Pro-Am, and then you're off and playing and competing and this is no different," Woods said on Tuesday.

"I think the neat thing about it being in a team format is that we're able to converse with one another, pick each other's brains - how are you going to play this? What kind of shot are you going to play here given different scenarios? Talk about alternate-shot, talk about four-ball.

"That ability in itself allows us that we can learn a golf course a little quicker than we would individually like we do each and every week."

Apart from dealing with jetlag, Woods felt his team had lost little with their late arrival to Melbourne.

The US players landed at 12.30pm on Monday after a 26-hour flight from Woods' tournament in the Bahamas, with the team chartering a luxury jet for the journey.

While the International team opened preparations by playing last week's Australian Open in Sydney or practice rounds at Royal Melbourne, Woods felt his team didn't miss much.

On Monday temperatures in Melbourne hit 37 degrees while on Tuesday it was less than half that at 16 degrees on the course with the wind swinging around.

"Actually, I think we actually got a fortunate break by not coming out here yesterday because the wind has totally switched from the northerlies to out of the south," the 43-year-old said.

"This is the wind we're going to see the rest of the week, so the guys can start prepping exactly what we are going to have to face the rest of the week."

Both teams hit the fairways on Tuesday but Woods said they would be easing into it.

"It's an important day for us to just walk and to stretch our legs a bit. Getting in after a 26-hour ride in a luxurious tin can, it's nice to actually get out there and feel some fresh air."


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