Tiger Woods should select himself as a captain's pick for the Presidents Cup provided he is fit to play, says Justin Thomas.

Fitness woes in the backend of the season, including surgery to repair knee cartilage in August, hindered Woods, who is due to return at this month's ZOZO Championship in Japan.

Woods failed to gain automatic selection for the biennial Presidents Cup, which pits the United States against an international team not including European players.

The 15-time major champion can still feature, though, by naming himself among four wildcard selections, a scenario Ryder Cup team-mate Thomas is backing.

"I think if he's healthy and playing well, I mean, I'll take him 100 times out of 100," Thomas said in quotes reported by Sky Sports. 

"I think he knows his body and knows himself well enough to make that decision.

"He's asked me about it and I've told him that exact same thing. For him, it's all about health, and for anybody. They need to make sure their game is ready and their body is ready because it's not just something that you do just to do.

"If he's going to pick himself, he's only going to do it if he's ready and he's playing well. So I guess we'll just have to wait and see." 

Several players are vying for a pick, with Patrick Reed, Rickie Fowler and U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland among them, and Thomas says Woods has been conversing with players already on the team over who should get the nod.

"[Woods] has reached out to all of us on the team about what we think and what we want," Thomas added. "It is kind of a different year, but that being said, it's not a bad thing, it's a good thing.

"It shows how deep our team is and how many great players we truly have with the chance and the possibility of having on the team playing. He's going to make the right decisions."

Brooks Koepka insists he does not have a rivalry with Rory McIlroy because the Northern Irishman has not won a major since 2014.

World number one Koepka has enjoyed a phenomenal run in golf's major events over recent years, claiming victory at the 2017 and 2018 U.S. Opens and 2018 and 2019 US PGA Championships.

In 2019, as well as winning the US PGA, he finished tied second at the Masters, second at the U.S. Open and tied fourth at The Open Championship.

McIlory, ranked number two in the world, finished last season by claiming the FedEx Cup and was named the PGA Tour's player of the year – voted for by his fellow professionals.

But the 30-year-old's wait for a fifth major now stands at five years, dating back to his triumph at the 2014 PGA Championship.

Speaking ahead of his CJ Cup defence, Koepka mischievously offered a reminder of this when the prospect of a rivalry with McIlroy was discussed.

"I've been out here for, what, five years. Rory hasn’t won a major since I’ve been on the PGA Tour. So I just don't view it as a rivalry," Koepka said, as per AFP.

"I'm not looking at anybody behind me. I'm number one in the world. I've got open road in front of me. I'm not looking in the rearview mirror, so I don't see it as a rivalry.

"You know if the fans do [call it a rivalry], then that's on them and it could be fun."

Koepka made sure to point out he remains a huge admirer of McIlroy's game and suggested his stance on rivalries might have more to do with golf as a sport in general.

"Look, I love Rory. He's a great player and he's fun to watch," he added. "But it's just hard to believe there's a rivalry in golf. I just don't see it."

Fifteen-time major winner Tiger Woods is writing his first memoir, which will be titled 'Back'.

His publisher, announcing the book on Tuesday, describes it as "the first and only account directly from Woods, with the full co-operation of his friends, family and inner circle".

Woods said in a statement from HarperCollins Publishers: "I've been in the spotlight for a long time, and because of that, there have been books and articles and TV shows about me, most filled with errors, speculative and wrong.

"This book is my definitive story. It's in my words and expresses my thoughts. It describes how I feel and what's happened in my life. I've been working at it steadily, and I'm looking forward to continuing the process and creating a book that people will want to read."

Woods, 43, won this year's Masters and the memoir will cover his life from his start in the game through to his victory in April at Augusta National, according to HarperCollins. No release date was announced.

There have been multiple books written about Woods, most notably 2018's 'Tiger Woods' by authors Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian that spent time on the New York Times Bestseller List and was described as a "deeper look at the personal and professional triumphs and disasters of the champion golfer".

It was a critically acclaimed warts-and-all account of Woods' life that has included his triumphs on the course as he rose to number one in the world as one of golf's most dominating figures, but also a much-publicised break-up from his wife after his infidelities, among other off-the-course tribulations.

It is unclear how deeply Woods will delve into his missteps in 'Back', based on Tuesday's announcement, although the book's editor hinted that he might open up as never before.

"Meeting with Tiger, speaking with him at length about the process of writing a memoir, I was delighted to discover how much he has to say, and how ready, how eager, he is to say it," said Shannon Welch, who will edit the book. "He's at a place in his career and his life where he's thinking deeply about his story, the highs and the lows, and how it all relates and connects. I think the result will be extraordinary."

Woods, whose season was a disappointment after the major victory in the spring, is set to return to competitive golf next week in Japan. He is scheduled to play next Monday in The Challenge: Japan Skins with Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama and then will compete from October 24-27 in the Zozo Championship in Chiba, the first PGA Tour event contested in Japan.

He has played competitively only six times since the Masters, missing two cuts and withdrawing from another event with an injury. He has since had an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee and has not played since the BMW Championship in August.

Woods has 81 PGA Tour wins, the second-highest total of any player, behind only Sam Snead's 82. Woods' 15 major victories put him three shy of Jack Nicklaus' career record and include five victories at the Masters, four in US PGA Championships, three in U.S. Opens and three Open Championships.

Lanto Griffin captured his first PGA Tour title after winning the Houston Open by one stroke.

Griffin carded a three-under-par 69 to pip fellow Americans Scott Harrington (67) and Mark Hubbard (69) to the trophy on Sunday.

It was an eventful finish at the Golf Club of Houston, where there was a three-way tie atop the leaderboard heading into the final few holes.

Griffin – the 54-hole leader – carried a one-shot advantage into the fourth round but he was level with Hubbard at 14 under after the turn on Sunday.

A bogey at the 11th handed Hubbard the lead but Harrington capitulated himself into the mix to make it a three-way tie.

Harrington made four birdies over the final seven holes to take the clubhouse lead at 13 under, though Griffin eventually jumped ahead thanks to a birdie at the 16th.

Griffin was not to be denied his maiden Tour title after the 31-year-old two-putted to finish ahead of Harrington and Hubbard at 14 under.

Harris English (66), Xinjun Zhang (66), Talor Gooch (69), Carlos Ortiz (69) and Sepp Straka (69) ended the tournament two shots off the pace in a tie for fourth.

Meanwhile, Bud Cauley (67), Chad Campbell (68), Stewart Cink (69) and Denny McCarthy (69) rounded out the top 10.

Lanto Griffin catapulted himself into the Houston Open lead with a seven-under-par 65 in round three.

Griffin climbed 16 positions as the surging American claimed a one-stroke advantage atop the leaderboard on Saturday.

Seeking his maiden PGA Tour title, Griffin had nine birdies and a pair of bogeys to become the man to beat heading into the final round.

A stretch of three consecutive birdies from the third to fifth holes set the tone for Griffin, who dropped a shot at the ninth prior to the turn.

It was a mere blip as Griffin birdied five of his next six holes and six of eight before bogeying the 18th to be 11 under overall in Humble, Texas.

Fellow American Mark Hubbard is within touching distance of Griffin following his 69, while Cameron Tringale (68), Beau Hossler (68) and overnight leader Peter Malnati (73) are a shot further back at nine under.

Malnati was a shot clear heading into the third round, but five bogeys and four birdies saw him drop into a tie for third at the Golf Club of Houston.

Carlos Ortiz (71), Brandon Wu (69), Austin Cook (70), Scott Harrington (72), Sepp Straka (72) and Talor Gooch (72) are eight under.

Peter Malnati shot a 65 to move to 10-under par and take the outright lead on a weather-affected day two of the Houston Open.

Thunderstorms forced a two-hour suspension as golfers dealt with winds upwards of 30mph, before light stopped play early on Friday.

Malnati, 32, started well as he went five-under after five holes and held his nerve as conditions worsened to end the day a shot clear of overnight leader Talor Gooch.

Gooch and Austin Cook who led proceedings after the first round could only complete 14 and 15 holes, respectively, with the latter dropping down the leaderboard with a two-over par round.

Sepp Straka was the only other player in the top six to complete round two as he sits two shots off the pace, but the best round of the day came from Malnati who did his work earlier at the Golf Club of Houston.

"I just went out just purely with the plan of giving my best effort no matter what," Malnati said.

"The wind really messes with me. I know it's difficult for everyone, but it really tends to mess with my strengths. But I was pleased with how I hit a lot of putts in the wind."

Conditions are expected to improve ahead of day three action.

American duo Austin Cook and Talor Gooch both shot eight-under par 64’s to share the lead after round one of the Houston Open.

The pair were red hot on the opening day at the Golf Club of Houston with Cook shooting 29 on the front nine, which included a run of four birdies and an eagle between holes five and nine.

Gooch, 28, managed to keep pace with his countryman with a round that included 10 birdies and two bogeys, as he seeks a maiden win on the PGA Tour.

"Any time you have double-digit birdies you’re doing something right," Gooch said.

"I drove it well, got the ball in the fairway, hit a lot of good iron shots and was able to make a few putts. It was a fun day."

Austrian Sepp Straka is a shot further back and is outright third on the leaderboard, while Russell Henley, Lanto Griffin and Tyler McCumber sit a shot further back at six-under.

Two-time runner-up Henrik Stenson could only manage an even-par round of 72.

Meanwhile, amateur golfer Cole Hammer scored a first-round 67 to currently sit three off the lead and in the mix at Humble.

The world number two (in the amateur rankings) had a mixed day with the driver but recovered on the green to tally eight birdies for the day, the second most by an amateur on the PGA Tour.

️ @cole_hammer6765 grew up in Houston attending @HouOpenGolf , watching stars like @McIlroyRory , Charles Howell III and @WestwoodLee .

Today, the 20-year-old takes the stage himself. pic.twitter.com/e6ESyP0BCl

— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) October 10, 2019 China’s Zhang Xinjun was the only afternoon start to shoot five-under as conditions became tougher later in the day.

 

Kevin Na edged Patrick Cantlay in a play-off to win the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on Sunday.

Na won the PGA Tour event for a second time, adding to his 2011 success after a dramatic final round in Las Vegas.

The American, who carded a second-round 62 and a 61 in the third, finished at 23 under, alongside Cantlay, after a final-round 70.

A par at the second play-off hole was enough for Na to secure his fourth PGA Tour victory as Cantlay made bogey.

Na endured a difficult final round, making a triple bogey on the par-four 10th before recovering, including sinking a 22-footer for par at 17.

Cantlay, who fired a final-round 68, saw a 24-footer for the win at the last just miss, as he finished runner-up for the second straight year.

Na and Cantlay sunk putts for birdies at the first play-off hole, the former walking his in, before the second proved the difference.

Pat Perez (68) finished outright third at 21 under, a shot ahead of defending champion Bryson DeChambeau (63), Adam Hadwin (63) and Brian Stuard (67).

Kevin Na continued his impressive showing at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, surging into a two-stroke lead after the third round on Saturday.

The American, the 2011 champion, fired a 10-under 61 to get to 22 under at the PGA Tour event in Las Vegas.

Na bettered his second-round 62 with another stellar round, which included 10 birdies – five on the front nine and five on the back.

He became the second player to record multiple rounds of 62 or better in two different stroke-play events since 1983, according to the PGA Tour.

Na holds a two-shot lead over Patrick Cantlay, who carded a 63 to again be in contention.

Cantlay was runner-up last year and won the tournament in 2017 and the American mixed nine birdies with a bogey during his third round.

Pat Perez jumped into outright third with a nine-under 62 that moved him into 18 under.

Sam Ryder (64) and Lucas Glover (66) are tied for fourth at 17 under, a shot ahead of Webb Simpson (64) and Brian Stuard (67).

Phil Mickelson continued to drop back after shooting a 74 to be at five under, while defending champion Bryson DeChambeau (67) is tied for 21st at 12 under.

Brooks Koepka missed the cut in his first start of the PGA Tour season as four players shared the lead at the halfway mark of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Koepka, in action for the first time in the 2019-20 season, followed up his opening-round 70 with an even-par 71 during the second round in Las Vegas on Friday.

The world number one was unable to get going, his difficult round including a double bogey at the par-four 11th hole.

Koepka – runner-up at the 2017 tournament – ended up at one under, well back of the cut line of five under in Nevada.

Kevin Na produced the round of the day as the American fired a nine-under 62 to be part of a four-man leading pack.

Na charged into 12 under to sit alongside Brian Stuard (65), Patrick Cantlay (64) and Lucas Glover (63) atop the leaderboard.

The 2011 champion, Na produced a brilliant finish to his round, making eagles at the par-five 13th and 16th before birdies on the final two holes.

Cantlay has enjoyed the tournament in recent years, finishing runner-up last year after winning the event in November 2017, and is in contention once more.

Australian Matt Jones fired an eight-under 63 to be outright fifth at 11 under.

Defending champion Bryson DeChambeau (68) sits back in a tie for 21st at eight under in a group that includes Phil Mickelson (69).

Nick Taylor grabbed a one-stroke lead at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open as Brooks Koepka made a slow start to his season on Thursday.

Canada's Taylor fired an eight-under 63 in the opening round in Las Vegas to edge into the lead ahead of Brian Harman (64).

Eyes were on world number one Koepka, who is making his first appearance of the 2019-20 PGA Tour season.

The American four-time major champion underwent a procedure on his left knee after the FedEx Cup playoffs and he was below his best in the first round in Nevada.

Koepka endured a rollercoaster round with four bogeys and four birdies through his first 15 holes, before picking up a shot at the last to shoot a one-under 70 and be tied for 85th.

Brooks' younger brother, Chase, fared far better, managing a five-under 66 to be tied for eighth.

Phil Mickelson is among a group of five players who are tied for third at six under.

The American veteran carded a 65 to sit alongside Brian Gay, Sam Ryder, Brian Stuard and Maverick McNealy.

On what is a congested leaderboard, there are 12 players tied for eighth, including defending champion Bryson DeChambeau and Adam Scott.

Brooks Koepka feels 100 per cent again ahead of the start of the new PGA Tour season after revealing he had stem cell treatment on his injured left knee following the end of the 2018-19 campaign.

Koepka produced a series of superb performances last term, successfully defending his title at the US PGA Championship in between finishing tied second at The Masters, second at the U.S. Open and tied fourth at The Open.

Speaking ahead of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Koepka disclosed that he enjoyed such success while playing with a partially torn patellar tendon that prevented him from practicing ahead of events.

The 29-year-old was also hampered by a wrist issue but is now ready to launch a renewed bid for more majors with his body back to full strength.

"I wasn't healthy, had some stuff done on my knee, one day after FedEx [The Tour Championship]. [I've] just been trying to take it easy, trying to get healthy," Koepka told a media conference.

"I finally feel 100 per cent, hopefully it can stay that way for the rest of the season. Battling it there for the last four months of that season, it's just nice to be back playing.

"I had some stem cell done on my knee, my patellar tendon was partially torn. I spent the first three, four weeks [of the break] rehabbing that, [but I've] been back hitting balls, I can finally practice again without pain.

"Last year I didn't practice at all. I finally feel this year I can practice again. If I can come back and be healthy that's the important thing, I finally feel good enough where I can actually practice and feel prepared coming into golf tournaments, not trying to find it on Tuesday and Wednesday. I'll be practicing this year.

"My wrist wasn't 100 per cent and my knee was bugging me from March on. [I'm] not gonna make excuses, it's [just] nice to feel good for once. Just being able to walk the golf course without pain is nice. 

"I've got five, six years left of my prime and I want to see how far I can take it. I'm extremely motivated to see how far I can push it."

Whistling Straits will provide the perfect setting for all the thrills and spills synonymous with the Ryder Cup, according to Team Europe captain Padraig Harrington.

The Wisconsin course, which has hosted the US PGA Championship three times, is the stage for next September's edition of the biennial clash.

Harrington will be seeking to guide his side to a second consecutive title, having thrashed the United States 17.5-10.5 in Paris last year under the stewardship of Thomas Bjorn.

The Irishman and opposite number Steve Stricker faced the world's media on Tuesday during a year-to-go event at the links-style track.

"It will be a great venue for the Ryder Cup," said three-time major winner Harrington, who believes in the distant future a neutral venue will host the event.

"It's a dramatic course. The Ryder Cup is one of the biggest sporting events and probably the most exciting event in golf.

"It needs a dramatic course that lends itself to spectacular play, as well as disastrous play.

"The three PGA [Championships] I played here, what I remember most is the variability of the golf course.

"With a change of wind, moving the tee box forward or back – it can change the whole character of the hole."

On the subject of moving the competition to somewhere outside of Europe or America, Harrington added: "Clearly in Europe, we get to set the golf course up and we set it up in every way we can to suit our players, and in the States, we have seen that as well, where it is set up to be the most advantageous for the home team.

"It is not going to happen probably in my lifetime, but 40 or 50 years down the road with the Ryder Cup still going along, it would probably be best to have a neutral set-up."

For Wisconsin local Stricker, the fact no American has triumphed in any of the majors played at Whistling Straits is a cause for concern.

And the windy and rainy conditions that accompanied Tuesday's media event prompted the 52-year-old to ask Harrington if he had brought the weather with him from Ireland.

"Hopefully we have nice, sunny 75-degree days this time next year," said Stricker.

"If you look out there it has the feel of Ireland. The whole setting next to Lake Michigan, it could be overseas.

"It's a great venue. We're going to have an unbelievable crowd, with an atmosphere like [2016 host course] Hazeltine."

Cameron Champ held off a surging Adam Hadwin to claim the Safeway Open by one shot in a thrilling finale.

Canada's Hadwin had birdied three consecutive holes to close out his final round in a share of the lead in Napa, California on Sunday.

However, American Champ holed a three-foot, eight-inch birdie putt at the 18th to claim his second PGA Tour title.

Champ carded his fourth successive round in the 60s – a three-under-par 69 – to finish 17 under, ahead of Hadwin (67) at Silverado Country Club.

Seeking his first Tour victory since taking out last year's Sanderson Farms Championship, Champ carried a three-stroke lead into the final day.

Champ birdied four holes on the front nine – his only blemish at the eighth – before dropping the 17th but regrouping with a title-sealing birdie.

Hadwin, who was three shots off the pace at the start of the day, recorded eight birdies and three bogeys as he pushed Champ to the limit.

Australian Marc Leishman finished outright third thanks to his seven-under-par 65, a shot ahead of American trio Charles Howell III (68), Zac Blair (68) and Justin Thomas (69) at 14 under.

Thomas – winner of the 2017 FedEx Cup and US PGA Championship – had to settle for a tie for fourth following four birdies and a bogey.

Bryson DeChambeau (70) held the lead at the halfway stage of the tournament, however, the five-time PGA Tour champion finished tied for 13th back-to-back rounds in the 70s.

Cameron Champ earned a commanding three-stroke lead after the third round of the Safeway Open.

American Champ carded a five-under-par 67 in the penultimate round at Silverado Country Club on Saturday.

Winner of last year's Sanderson Farms Championship, Champ – seeking his second PGA Tour title – was flawless as he holed five birdies in Napa, California.

Champ improved to 14 under through 54 holes, ahead of last week's Sanderson Farms Championship winner Sebastian Munoz (67), Adam Hadwin (67) and Nick Taylor (70).

Justin Thomas – winner of the 2017 FedEx Cup and US PGA Championship – is a stroke further back following his one-under-par 71.

Thomas was among five players tied for third heading into day three, however, the American star was unable to maintain that charge.

A second 71 saw Thomas fall into a tie for fifth alongside Chez Reavie (69), Collin Morikawa (70) and Nick Watney (72), who was two shots off the pace at the start of the round.

Overnight leader Bryson DeChambeau endured a forgettable round as he slid down the leaderboard following a four-over-par 76.

A five-time winner on the PGA Tour, DeChambeau held a two-stroke lead when he teed off but the American had a double bogey and two bogeys to be six shots adrift.

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