When Tiger Woods was dominating on the PGA Tour, he was unquestionably the game’s most intimidating player.
Now, four years removed from his latest victory and struggling to come back from injuries, Woods’s aura can still mesmerize those around him—and, according to Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, motivate players on the U.S. Presidents Cup squad next week at Liberty National in Jersey City, N.J.
Woods is one of Steve Stricker’s assistant captains, a role he earned after his successful assistant captainship at the 2016 Ryder Cup.
“He used to psychologically destroy people, and now he is there to psychologically boost people,” Chamblee said during a conference call on Tuesday. “And it’s possible that he’s going to be just as good at boosting the moral of people as he was at destroying it. … With Tiger Woods, he can talk obviously about the game, but he can talk about the mental side of the game, which he appeared to know things that nobody else has ever known. So I think it’s wonderful, the role that he has moved into in the game of golf.”
Jim “Bones” Mackay, Phil Mickelson’s longtime caddie and now an on-course reporter for NBC who was also on the call, said Woods being around the team “makes it more special, it makes it cooler, it makes it great, it makes it everything.”
“He fires you up,” Mackay said. “If he’s whispering something in your ear that week in New York City, it’s going to be a moment that these guys never forget, especially with how little those guys have seen him in the last couple of years.”
The Presidents Cup kicks off Sept. 28.