Tiger Woods and Jason Dufner play a practice round together Tuesday at the Presidents Cup in Dublin, Ohio.
Getty Images
Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Jason Dufner figures he's being selfish by asking to be Tiger Woods' partner during some of the team matches at the Ryder Cup.

"He's the greatest player in the world, maybe the greatest of all time," Dufner said. ``I can say I was his partner in the Presidents Cup."

It would be the 10th partner Woods has had in the Presidents Cup, and 19th when adding the Ryder Cup.

Oddly enough, it was his first pairing with Woods as a pro that first taught Dufner how to handle large crowds.

Woods was the top draw at the 2009 Australian Masters at Kingston Heath, which featured record crowds and an atmosphere as big as any major championship that year. Dufner was between stops in China and Japan, and IMG provided the unheralded American a sponsor's exemption to the Australian Masters.

They were paired in the third round -- Dufner had a 71, Woods a 72. Dufner played in the group ahead of Woods on the last day -- still a huge crowd as the gallery waited for Woods -- and he tied for third. Woods won the tournament, his last victory before his personal life unraveled.

"That was just wall-to-wall people," Dufner said. ``He was No. 1 in the world and it was my first time playing before a crowd that big. I think I did all right."

Woods was asked whom he would like to be paired with this week. He responded with a smile: "Whoever is playing well, whoever can carry me is great."

Here are some highlights from Woods' press conference:

On looking for a fit with a partner:

"I've played on these teams for so long now, I've had all different types of partners; guys who hit the ball for miles, guys who are short, guys who are pretty mellow, guys who are pretty volatile. I've had it all.

So I think it's just a matter of trying to gel that particular week, and, you know, sometimes we do, sometimes we don't. But the whole idea is to go out there and just play."

On how he spent his off-week:

"Chased a four- and a six-year-old. That's what I did. I didn't touch a club until Friday and Friday was just putting. Just shut it down. Did a lot of training. Got my body feeling good. Then started to practice and get ready and then by the weekend, I was full-go."

On rookie teammate Jordan Spieth:

"He's a little wide-eyed. He's getting used to it. It's his first time and this is his first year on Tour. This is all new to him, and it's up to us who have been on these teams to help him out and make him feel comfortable. He's earned his way on here and he's played exceptional golf and his talent is going to take him a long way over the years."

On why he enjoys spending time with his pal Jason Dufner:

"You wouldn't expect the things that come out of his mouth."

You May Like