Toms and Tiger Woods played a fourballs match at the Presidents Cup four years ago at Royal Montreal, and had no trouble beating Nick O’Hern and Geoff Ogilvy 5 and 3.
It was the last time Woods played in a Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup match with anyone but Steve Stricker.
Woods and Stricker, a combined 6-1-0, were together again when the Presidents Cup got under way at Royal Melbourne on Thursday, and the scrutiny figures to be as high as ever.
They were playing against an International team of Adam Scott and K.J. Choi, along with a fifth wheel – Steve Williams, the caddie who now works for Scott, and who has made news over the past three months for disparaging Woods on national TV after Scott won at Firestone and with a racial comment in Shanghai at a caddies dinner.
“I’m kind of glad that it’s going to happen, get it out of the way, and let the rest of the matches take care of themselves,” Stricker said Wednesday.
“I think it will be good to just get that part of it out of the way. Stevie and Tiger have talked, so I think it’s kind of a nonissue.”
It’s usually an issue no matter what the topic when it involves Woods.
He has gone through 16 partners since he first played in the 1997 Ryder Cup at Valderrama. For years it was somewhat of a mystery for various captains trying to find the right fit for the guy who dominated golf.
Woods thought he had his man in Jim Furyk when they went 2-0-1 in 2005 at the Presidents Cup, though that was the best of it.
They were 2-2 in the Ryder Cup at The K Club in Ireland, then 1-1 a year later at Royal Montreal in 2007.
It was U.S. captain Fred Couples who first hooked up Woods and Stricker two years ago at Harding Park. Woods and Stricker became the first Presidents Cup tandem to win all four matches at Harding Park, and the first team in any cup competition in 30 years.