THE PRESIDENTS CUP
Davis Love III expects Tiger, Phil to play part at 2022 Presidents Cup
November 16, 2021
By Sean Martin , PGATOUR.COM
- November 16, 2021
- Davis Love III and Tiger Woods at the 2017 Presidents Cup. (Getty Images)
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – U.S. Captain Davis Love III foresees Tiger Woods playing an important role in next year’s Presidents Cup. Woods’ duties are to be determined, however.
“His role is whatever his role wants to be,” Love said Tuesday from the tournament he hosts, The RSM Classic.
Woods’ future, especially as it pertains to his playing career, remains uncertain after his February car accident that caused major leg injuries.
After his success as a playing captain in the previous Presidents Cup, Woods was a candidate to assume the role again at Quail Hollow in 2022. He turned it down, however, because he wanted to focus on his game.
“It would have been a great captaincy for Tiger to continue on,” Love said. “At the time we were discussing it, he said, ‘No, I'm playing really good. I'm gonna make the team, and I enjoyed Australia being playing captain, but I want to be a player on the team.’ So his role is whatever his role wants to be. If Tiger calls me up and says, ‘Hey, you're kicked out, I'm taking over,’ that's Tiger's role. If he wants to be an assistant, you know, I would hope that he comes back and starts playing and can make that a goal, to be on the team.”
Woods was an assistant under Love III in the 2016 Ryder Cup and served a similar role for Steve Stricker at the 2017 Presidents Cup. Then Woods returned to his winning ways and played on the next two U.S. teams. He was unable to travel to this year’s Ryder Cup but stayed in communication with the team and aided with decisions.
As for Phil Mickelson, Love thinks he may be at Quail Hollow as a player after missing the last two U.S. teams. Mickelson played on every U.S. squad from 1994 to 2018, but that streak came to an unceremonious end at the Ryder Cup in Paris. Mickelson went 0-2 as the U.S. was roundly defeated.
He won this year’s PGA Championship, becoming the oldest major winner in history, but admitted in the months before Whistling Straits that his game was not good enough to qualify for the U.S. team. He made his debut as a vice captain, instead, entertaining the team with his banter on the walkie-talkies. Mickelson has dominated PGA TOUR Champions with four wins in six starts, however, and has a strong record at Quail Hollow, finishing in the top 10 in 10 of 16 starts in the Wells Fargo Championship at the Charlotte course.
“I would look at Phil right now more getting ready to play. I think he can have a big year on the PGA TOUR,” Love said Tuesday. “I would look for Phil as a player right now, yes, more than anything.”