Woods-Scott match-up confirmed

The highly-anticipated match-up between Tiger Woods and Adam Scott will happen on the opening day of the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne.

The highly-anticipated match-up between Tiger Woods and Adam Scott will happen on the opening day of the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne.

Just a fortnight after Woods’ former caddie Steve Williams made controversial remarks describing the American as a “black a*******”, the first on-course pairing involving Woods and Williams’ new boss Scott will happen tomorrow.

Woods will play alongside Steve Stricker, with whom he has had recent success at both the Presidents and Ryder Cups, while Scott has been paired with South Korean KJ Choi.

Both International captain Greg Norman and his United States counterpart Fred Couples were at pains to point out the match-up had not been premeditated but both also said they felt it better to get the clash out of the way early.

“I think it’s great for the tournament. It needed to be done,” Norman said.

“It played out the way it played out. There wasn’t any premeditation by it.

“I think at the end of the day the guys in that last group will be the consummate professionals and go out and play the game of golf representing their International team and the US team the way they should do.”

Couples added: “I think Greg hit it right on the button.

“We did not plan anything but I think it worked out awesome for everybody involved to have Adam and Tiger play.

“As we’ve said all along, they are still very good friends and I think it’s an exciting match.”

But Norman and Couples became irritated as they continued to be questioned about the situation, with Norman saying it’s a ’dead’ issue while Couples insisted Stricker and Choi should not be forgotten in the match-up.

“There’s six pairings that are all incredible pairings. It’s not just Adam Scott and Tiger Woods – there’s 22 other players here,” Couples said.

“I think it’s a heck of a set-up for day one.

“You’ve got Steve Stricker and KJ Choi playing against each other also.

“Those are two of the finest guys on the PGA Tour.”

As defending champions, the USA had the choice of whether to name the first pairing for tomorrow’s alternate shot foursomes or to defer to the Internationals. Couples elected to let Norman pick first as the ’host’.

Norman named South African veteran Ernie Els and Japanese young gun Ryo Ishikawa, who only arrived in Melbourne on Tuesday night, with the pair to take on Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson.

Couples then chose Bill Haas and Nick Watney with Norman picking local Geoff Ogilvy and Els’ compatriot Charl Schwartzel as their opponents, before Norman named exciting Australian duo Aaron Baddeley and Jason Day and Couples matched them with Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar.

Next up Couples picked veterans Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk and Norman chose to pair them against South African Retief Goosen and local Robert Allenby before KT Kim and YE Yang for the Internationals were matched against Hunter Mahan and David Toms.

That left the promoter’s dream match-up, with Couples jokingly asking, “who’s left?” before both confirmed their final groups.

More in this section

Ireland's Top 10 Hidden Gems

Ten of the best golf courses in Ireland that too few people know about.

Read Here

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox