In a move that didn't surprise anyone- "captain" Tiger Woods selected himself as a captain's pick for the upcoming President's Cup- to be hosted in my hometown in Australia, at my favourite golf course in the world- Royal Melbourne.

It wasn't that long ago that it was inconceivable for Tiger to be a part of this team with clubs in hand. After all he had been selected as captain- normally something that would not occur if there was even a remote possibility of making his way onto the team itself.

Then The Masters happened. Then win #82 happened in Japan. Only a fool would then come to suggest that Tiger shouldn't trade his clipboard in for his clubs. The fact he had to select himself would be the only real obstacle thwarting him from playing. His wiser head prevailed and he saw no imperfection in naming himself on the team.

While rare- a playing captain is nothing new. Snead, Hogan, Hagen, Jackie Burke Dai Rees and Arnold Palmer were playing captains on Ryder Cup teams.

Yet in more recent years the responibilty of team captain has come with a much heaveir cross to bear with dinners and team uniforms and extracurricular activities eating into the captain's time, so the title or leadership role has generally been granted to a person able to put all their time and energy into the team instead of being concerned about their own game.

Same thing for the Presidents Cup. With one exception. Hale Irwin was captain AND player in the very first edition of the tournament back in 1994 at Robert Trent Jones Club on the outskirts of Washington DC. 


I was a player on the International Team that year- with David Graham as our team captain- an honour and a privilege for me to be a part of. I saw a lot of the inside workings that were placed on the shoulders of the team captain. There is certainly a lot going on.

In 1994 Hale Irwin didn't have the luxury of selecting himself for the team- he actually played well enough in the lead up to qualify himself via the points table.

All along he had Paul Azinger as his back up man. Azinger was the vice captain- unable to compete on a team he would have definitely been a player on due to his horrible discovery of cancer. His selection as vice captain allowed Irwin to spearhead the team by title but he was always knowingly going to participate as well.

Tiger's vice caprtain's will also no doubt take over much of the responsibility this year- as Azinger did then. 

If anyone can juggle the responsibility then Tiger Woods is that person. I am sure it won't be easy but as in most things golf, he can turn the difficult task into comfortable and painless.