Tiger Woods enjoyed a record-breaking performance as playing captain during the United States’ historic Presidents Cup triumph but the American superstar did not feel right physically, according to assistant captain Fred Couples.
Woods led the way with a record 27th match win at the Presidents Cup to inspire the USA’s eighth consecutive victory over the Internationals in Melbourne last week.
The 15-time major champion – who underwent back surgery in 2017 and had a knee operation in August – surprisingly sat out the entire third day on Saturday, skipping the morning four-balls and afternoon foursomes at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
Woods returned for Sunday’s singles and maintained his flawless record as the USA became the first team to win the Presidents Cup after trailing heading into the final day, and Couples explained why the 43-year-old did not play on Saturday.
I couldn’t have had a better group of guys to be the Captain for. Each and every one of you are what made this week so special for me. I’m incredibly proud of you all and proud to be bringing home the Cup. Go U.S.A.! pic.twitter.com/bR2UXhDnAf
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) December 15, 2019
“Maybe the first time I wanted to throw up with my headset on, at about 10 o’clock, [Woods] said, ‘Guys, my body is not going to let me go. I’m not going to play this afternoon’,” Couples said on his Sirius XM Radio show.
“Of course, [Steve] Stricker hopped on and said, ‘Tiger please, can you go in right now and get loose and warm?’ He said, ‘Strick, I can’t do it.’ Zach [Johnson] said, “Tiger, are you sure, you sure?’
“[Woods] said, ‘I believe in the team,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, so do I, but I believe that you need to be playing’.
“So that was like a 10-minute gasp and then we got over it. We regrouped and made a new team and they went out and won.”