Tiger Woods admits he pranked Tony Finau on his Presidents Cup captain’s pick phone call
With the teams set and the 2019 Presidents Cup just a few weeks away, U.S. captain Tiger Woods fired off one of his final Captain’s Blog missives on Friday, which he appropriately renamed the “U.S. Playing Captain’s Blog.” This time, Woods laid out his defense for each of the four captain’s picks he made (including himself).
He also revealed a painful prank he played on one of those picks, Tony Finau, in the name of rookie hazing.
Finau played on the 2018 U.S. Ryder Cup team that lost to Europe in France one year ago, but thanks to Tiger’s pick, he’ll make his first Presidents Cup appearance at Royal Melbourne in December. In his Captain’s Blog, Woods praised Finau as a person saying he was “as genuine as they come,” and predicting that at the event Finau will “light up the team room but will back it up on the course with consistent play.”
Woods went on to write that “everyone wants to play with Tony,” and that he and the rest of the team “are looking forward to having him.” But Finau probably wouldn’t have guessed that based on how his captain’s pick phone call with Tiger went.
The 15-time major champion revealed that when he called Finau to offer him a pick, he decided to mess with his teammate-to-be by making him think he hadn’t made the team.
“I actually pranked Tony a little when I called to tell him he was on the team. I could feel his heart sink when I said I had some tough news,” Woods writes. “So, I let him sweat it out for a few seconds before welcoming him to the Presidents Cup.”
For Finau, it was a small price to pay for getting to join the team and play for his country in Australia.
Tiger also showered his other picks with praise, saying of Patrick Reed, “I couldn’t imagine this team going into battle without Captain America,” and of U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland, “He’s just a good dude that all the players wanted on the team.” As for Rickie Fowler, who Woods chose for the team after his original pick Brooks Koepka backed out due to injury, Tiger wrote, “He is someone we seriously considered for a pick and is so well respected and liked by his teammates.”
He even saved a little ink to explain why he boldly picked himself to be only the second playing-captain in U.S. Presidents Cup history. Since he missed out on the Tour Championship and then underwent knee surgery a few months ago, Woods writes, “I knew the ZOZO Championship was going to be a big event, and to perform the way I did after my knee procedure validated that I could play and help the team.”
While some people might not like the idea of Tiger picking himself, once the Presidents Cup finally kicks off on December 12 in Melbourne, there will be a lot of viewers, tournament officials, and sponsors happy that he did.
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