While Tiger Woods may not be present at the Presidents Cup being held in Quail Hollow, North Carolina, he is there in spirit and has spoken to many members of the Americas team over the phone.
One of those team members is someone he has played with in many international competitions: Team US Captain Davis Love III.
“He’s spoken to a lot of people on the team,” Love told reporters Thursday.
“I stood there at the 6th tee for about an hour so I called him and we talked for a while. And I said, well, at least you watch TV. Call us if you see anything. He has fun.”
It’s been a few months since we saw Woods play – the last time the 15-time Major winner took a seat at a tournament in St Andrews for the Open Championship.
Woods has offered as much help as possible to Love and the US team, despite not being there in person. Love said he appeared on some Zoom calls and got team stats.
“He’s very dedicated. He’s very helpful,’ Love said. “We send him the analysis material that we get and he makes his own pairings and sends them to us. I still have copies of the notes he sent me in 2015 to prepare me for 2016. He’s great – he’s his own analysis team and he gives us a lot of great information.
“He will be very helpful. He just can’t make it to the Presidents Cup, but the texts and the Zoom calls and the emails sure will fly.
Love also said he could sense Woods wants to be there in person – with some auxiliary captains teasing him about it.
“He obviously misses it. On a zoom call the other night, Fred [Couples] said, “When are you coming in?” And Tiger said, “What did you say? I can’t hear you.”
‘I know he wishes he were here. You know, it’s not easy going around with carts and walking up and down hills. I get it. But we lock him up.’
Max Homa shagged the final two holes of Friday’s final game to lead the US team to an 8-2 lead over the international team after two days of the Presidents Cup at Charlotte’s Quail Hollow Club.
Homa and Billy Horschel defeated Canadian tandem Corey Conners and Taylor Pendrith in a four ball match (best ball). The match went square for 16 holes, but Homa rolled in 17th place in a 13-foot birdie putt to take the lead.
After Pendrith made a birdie putt on No. 18, Homa responded with an 11-foot putt to cut the hole in half – and win the match. He was so sure of the putt’s fate that he took a step back to celebrate just before it fell, and his American teammates soon joined him and Horschel.
“It’s pretty surreal that 10 of the best golfers I’ve ever seen in my life are watching you and you have to help them,” Homa said on the Golf Channel. “It’s a heavy weight, but it’s also really fun. That’s what we live for.”
After a restful 4-1 lead, the Americans again took four of the five available points. The pairings Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas and Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele stayed together and won their matches for the second day in a row. The other two games were drawn, allowing the international team to collect two half points.
Spieth and Thomas defeated Australia’s Adam Scott and Cam Davis 2 and 1. Cantlay and Schauffele drove through eight holes to a 5-up lead before winning 3 and 2.
Sam Burns potted an eagle putt on the seventh par-5 measuring just under 80 feet, helping himself and Scottie Scheffler to a 1-up lead over South Korea’s Sungjae Im and Colombia’s Sebastian Munoz.
But Munoz was the only player to birdie the #13 and 14 on the par-3. Both Burns and Scheffler hit bad drives on the par 17-4, and the international duo won by par to level the match. Neither team was able to make it to 18th place.
“Sam was making some crazy putts here and there,” Munoz said. “They gained momentum. They even have some luck on their side. All we had to do was dig deep, keep pushing and try to get a few holes and ended up with a tie.
In the day’s other game, Kevin Kisner and Cameron Young tied on points with Chile’s Mito Pereira and South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout.
The lopsided result leaves open the possibility that the Americans could wrap up the Presidents Cup before the end of Saturday. Eight points up for grabs — with four four-pointers (alternate shot) and four more best balls — and the US team is just 7 1/2 from victory.
Munoz said the international team needed a ‘make or break’ mentality on Saturday.
“I have a feeling tomorrow is the big day,” he said. “We have to keep in touch until Sunday and we have a lot of gaps to recover from.”