Tiger's Challenge to end early for Presidents Cup travel

Miami - Tiger Woods, fresh off his Masters victory, said Tuesday he has tweaked the schedule for December's Hero World Challenge to ease travel issues from the Bahamas to Australia for the Presidents Cup.

The 43-year-old American star will host the annual invitational at Albany resort December 4-7, starting on Wednesday and ending on Saturday, so participants will have extra time for the 9,820-mile (15,804 km) journey to Melbourne for the team showdown December 12-15.

"Excited to have a Saturday finish at the Hero World Challenge this year so we accommodate those also traveling to the Presidents Cup," Woods tweeted. "The event has grown in many ways since moving to Albany and this year's unique schedule allows us to continue trying new things."

Woods completed an epic comeback after spinal fusion surgery and won his 15th major title on April 14 at Augusta National, taking his first major win since the 2008 US Open by capturing his fifth Masters green jacket.

The Hero World Challenge has a $1 million (891,500-euro) top prize and will be played at Albany for a fifth consecutive year.

"I'm looking forward to hosting the 2019 Hero World Challenge at Albany and beginning two weeks of international competition," Woods said.

Woods, who went 0-4 at the Ryder Cup in a US loss last year in France, will serve as captain for the American squad in the Presidents Cup against an Internationals squad of non-European talent to be guided by South African Ernie Els.

With his Masters victory, Woods moved to ninth on the US qualifying list for the President Cup, his 3,638 points only 26 behind Tony Finau for the final automatic berth on the American team. After that, Woods must select four others to complete the lineup.

Points will be compiled through the 2019 Tour Championship in September.

It's the first time in a captain's role for Woods, who has been an assistant in past US team events.

The US team is reigning Presidents Cup champion, having won 19-11 in 2017 to seize a 10-1-1 lead in the overall rivalry.

But this year's event will be staged at Royal Melbourne, where the Internationals collected their only victory in 1998. The course also hosted the event in 2011.

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