US open champion Gary Woodland admitted on Tuesday he has only two weeks to convince Tiger Woods that he deserves a captain’s pick for the Presidents Cup.
Despite winning his first major, Woodland missed out on automatic selection for the Ryder Cup-style event that will pit Team USA against the Internationals in Melbourne in December.
“I’ve talked to Tiger, I’ve spent a little time with him. He’s made it clear he wants the guys out playing and he wants guys playing well,” Woodland told AFP ahead of this week’s $9.75 million CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in Jeju, South Korea.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t secure my own spot, so I’ve got to rely on a pick,” said the 35-year-old, who was runner-up a year ago at Nine Bridges to world No1 Brooks Koepka.
Woodland will also play in the PGA Tour’s inaugural event in Japan next week, the $9.75 million Zozo Championship.
That is the second leg of a new three-week mega-money Far East swing with prize funds totalling $29.75 million, concluding with the $10.25 million HSBC-WGC Champions in Shanghai.
“I’m excited about the next two weeks. I’ve had success here, I love this golf course,” he said. “I’m not going to play the HSBC, so I have two weeks left to go out and prove that my game’s in a good enough spot that I deserve a pick.”
World No19 Woodland enjoyed an extended break after the season-ending Tour Championship and said it was just what he needed after having to cope with the hullabaloo of being a major winner.
“Obviously winning [a major] was huge, but we had a couple of babies as well, so I had a lot going on,” he smiled.
“I needed that five-week break. That’s as long a break as I’ve had in years.”
Woodland brushed off the cobwebs at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas two weeks ago, finishing tied 55th.
“I played a lot better than I scored,” he said. “I was happy with the way I played there. I was excited to get back to Vegas to get some of the rust off and clean some things up in the game.”
His form took a dip immediately after the US Open, where he turned the tables on Koepka to win by three strokes at Pebble Beach. Woodland missed his next two cuts and has a best result only of tied 15th since his breakthrough.
“I think the biggest thing is just managing my time. I have a lot more demands now, a lot more stuff that I need to deal with off the golf course,” he said.
“I have a bigger family now. So it’s been managing my time from the business side to my family to my golf side.