CHIBA – Rory McIlroy has backed Tiger Woods to do an excellent job as either a playing or non-playing captain of the United States team that will take on the Internationals at the Presidents Cup in December.
Though Northern Irishman McIlroy will not feature in the event, he knows Woods well enough to make an intelligent observation of the 15-times major champion.
Woods was famously lukewarm about team events early in his career, appearing almost disinterested in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup.
But his passion has grown as he has entered middle-age, and at 43 he will lead a superstar team at Royal Melbourne from Dec. 12-15 in what no doubt will be a test run for a future captaincy in the Ryder Cup against Europe.
“He's evolved a lot as a person over the years and I think he takes his leadership role in those team competitions a lot more seriously now than he might have before,” McIlroy said on Wednesday on the eve of the Zozo Championship.
“He put a lot into the U.S. team at Hazeltine (site of the 2016 Ryder Cup) when he couldn't play but was a vice captain.
“He wouldn't have taken the job as Presidents Cup captain if he wasn't going to give it his undivided attention. So I think he'll be a wonderful captain. If he approaches the captaincy the way he's approached his whole career, he'll be great at that.”