“We’ve got 23-hours in a tin can”. The words of USA Presidents Cup Captain, Tiger Woods ahead of boarding a charter flight from Nassau in the Bahamas early Saturday evening (Bahamas time) and not arriving in Melbourne, Australia until Monday morning (Australian east coast time).
The flight will take up to around 25-hours as the jet will need to touch down in Mexico for a refuelling stop before the long haul south-west over the Pacific Ocean carrying Woods and 10 other members of his red-hot USA Presidents Cup squad.
And as is the norm, any flight crossing the Pacific Ocean from the North American contingent will also lose a day hence the Monday arrival ‘down under’.
“No, we’ve got — hell, we’ve got 23 hours in a tin can, so we’ve got a long way to go down there,” said Woods smiling after finishing a gallant fourth in the Hero World Challenge.
“The guys will be relaxing, doing whatever we need to do. We’ve got a bunch of stuff to sign for the tournament, so the guys will be taking care of that. Lots of reading, lots of card playing and lots of needling.”
There are official functions once the flight lands in Melbourne before tee-off on Thursday in the 13th edition of the biennial event that has been won by the USA on 10 occasions with one halved and the International Team winning just once, in 1998 when captained by the late Peter Thomson.
While the Hero World Challenge event was won by Sweden’s Henrik Stenson with Spain’s Jon Rahm runner-up for a European one-two, Woods finished ahead of nine of his ten USA team-mates, with the exception being Patrick Reed who was third.
“I’m very happy with most of the team,” said Woods.
“The fact that 11 out of 12 guys played this week, some played well, some didn’t, but at least they were able to knock off some rust, get some feel. Rickie hasn’t played since the Tour Championship, it was nice to see him get four rounds in, get the feeling back in his hands and his body and hitting shots again.
“It’s so different playing at home for cash versus playing out here with a scorecard, so it was nice to see. And hopefully Dustin’s feeling a little bit better, hopefully swelling stays down over the next 23 hours because it’s a long flight down there.
“The guys will be ready”.