Woods is captaining and taking part in for the united states at the biennial matchplay showdown at Royal Melbourne, and one of Els’ key decisions will be who plays the 15-time major-winner within the singles on Sunday.
The big South African has seven rookies in his 12-man team, but he also has a core of experienced players like Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, and Marc Leishman.
Els said he would decide who faces Woods after seeing how they perform in the 3 days of fourballs and foursomes, but suggested it would not be a newcomer.
“I don’t want to have a guy feel overwhelmed,” he said in Sydney ahead of the Australian Open, where Els will play from Thursday alongside a handful of his Presidents Cup team.
“I will not place a guy in there that’s going to feel that way. I am going to see who is going to feel like he is extremely got the best chance against Tiger.
“I do not assume nowadays he has the same kind of aura he had in the past. It’s different,” added Els, himself a matchplay specialist but can only be captain in Melbourne.
‘Not what he used to be’
“It’s more of a star kind of aura. but he’s still very competitive. he is won the Masters and he won in Japan (both this year).
“When Tiger is healthy, he will play at a very high level. but he’s not what he used to be consistently. that’s simply what age will. but we’ll see when we get to Melbourne.”
The united states enter the tournament as serious favorites, speech act some of the world’s top-ranked players like Woods, Dustin Johnson, and Justin Thomas.
They have won just about one edition in the event’s 25-year history, with Melbourne in 1998 the exception.
Els said he had a good plan of what his pairings would be for the opening day of four balls next Thursday, while not giving anything away.
“There are a couple of pairings that are kind of natural pairings if you’ll call it that, but I am looking at it during a different method, not just a personality way,” he said. “I’m looking at how the guys will perform together.
“I’ve spoken to the players, a number of the players already. so my thing is kind of set already, my plan is kind of set in motion already.”
In addition to Scott, Oosthuizen, and Leishman, Li Haotong of China, Taiwan’s CT Pan, Mexico’s patriarch Ancer, Australian newcomer Cameron Smith and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama all qualified automatically.
Adam Hadwin and Jason Day were Els’ captain’s picks aboard rookies I’m Sung-Jae and Joaquin Niemann, though Day has since forced out injured and been replaced by South Korean a Byeong-hun.