Tiger tips his cap to young guns

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Tiger Woods reacts to his putt on on the 14th green during The Match in Las Vegas, US, on Nov 23, 2018.

American golf legend Tiger Woods has paid tribute to the support received from the new generation of stars for his amazing comeback from injury as he plots the United States' quest for the 2019 Presidents Cup.

A little more than one year ago, Woods sat in the media center at the Presidents Cup just outside New York City and said he was unsure if he would ever again play golf at the highest level.

The winner of the recent Tour Championship was on a whirlwind tour of Melbourne, Australia, last week as captain of the US team that will head to The Royal Melbourne Golf Club for the next Presidents Cup, from Dec 9-15, 2019.

As he prepares to enjoy a well-earned break after a hectic but rewarding year, Woods credited the young US team members with playing an important role in his comeback.

"Mentally, it gave me a shot in the arm. The guys really encouraged me to come back and play. They were offering whatever ... dinner or practice rounds or practice," Woods said during a media conference alongside the Yarra River in downtown Melbourne.

"Let's just get me being a part of the game of golf again. The text messages and the calls I got last year through the Presidents Cup were very uplifting."

He also made it clear he wants to be a playing captain and help the US extend its domination over the International Team, led by South Africa's Ernie Els.

In 12 editions since 1994, the US has won 10 times, lost once at Royal Melbourne in 1998 and tied with the Internationals in 2003 in South Africa, where Woods battled Els in a sudden-death playoff.

"Hopefully I can be a part of the automatic eight that automatically qualify," he said.

"If I don't happen to be a part of that, then it's up to me, my vice captains and the rest of the eight guys who automatically qualify to determine who best fits our groupings, our pairings, and will be part of the team.

"That's a conversation I'll have with my vice captains and the players, and hopefully I'll be a part of the top eight. If not, then we've got to work on it," added Woods, who is currently 16th in the team rankings.

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