LOS ANGELES • US Presidents Cup captain Tiger Woods said on Monday he may select himself to play for the team in December but he would need to see how sharp his game is before making the call.
The American was not among the top eight players to qualify automatically for the squad, after he finished 13th on the points list, but he has the power to name himself to the roster as one of the four captain's picks for the event at Royal Melbourne.
"My job as the captain is to put together the best team possible, to try to put together the best 12 guys," he said. "We'll have open communication with our top eight guys and my vice-captains and we will certainly talk about whether I should play or not play. Ultimately it is going to be my call."
Apart from his win at the Masters in April for his 15th Major title, the 43-year-old has had a relatively quiet season, which petered out with a whimper amid physical and emotional fatigue.
He missed the chance to defend his Tour Championship title this week when he could manage only a tie for 37th at the BMW Championship on Sunday, far from the sixth-place finish he likely needed to qualify for the season-ender.
He said his Presidents Cup decision will depend on how he fares in informal rounds against players preparing for the fall season as well as his performance at the Zozo Championship in October in Japan.
"It's practising, it's playing, it's staying sharp," he said when asked what he needs to do to make the US side, who have dominated the International team since the biennial event's inception in 1994.
The only US loss came in Melbourne in 1998 with a team that included Woods.
The American also said he wants the eight players - Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Webb Simpson, Matt Kuchar and Bryson DeChambeau - who made his Presidents Cup team and four more under consideration as captain's picks to play tournaments and stay sharp over the next three months.
"It's something I try to reinforce to the guys, that it is important to be solid, be fresh and be sharp," Woods said.
"We're going overseas and we're playing against an amazing team, and it's their soil.
"These guys are going to be tough to beat.
"The only time we have ever lost the Cup was in Australia, and quite frankly, some of the guys didn't play or practise that much (then). It was our off-season, and we got beaten pretty badly."
REUTERS, ASSOCIATED PRESS