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Named: Ernie Els and Tiger Woods, as captains of the respective International and U.S. teams for the 2019 President Cups matches in Australia, as first reported byMorning Read (“Woods to captain ’19 Presidents Cup team,” March 12). But there was at least one big surprise from the announcement Tuesday at Bay Hill Club in Orlando, Fla., site of this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational. Woods conceded that he initiated a phone conversation with commissioner Jay Monahan of the PGA Tour, which administers the biennial matches, about the position. Woods said he openly petitioned for the gig, an idea that he said was met with “silence.” That description drew laughs from the assembled media and others who attended the news conference. In a one-on-one interview with Morning Read after the announcement, Monahan said that his delayed response wasn’t just because he was stunned. “I was thinking about what he was saying. I knew he wasn’t kidding, based on the tone of the message. He was very serious about it. I did what I typically do and said, ‘Let’s talk tomorrow about it.’ ” Interestingly, Monahan said the conversation took place in late October, when the playing future of Woods, still sidelined after spinal-fusion surgery, was very much in doubt. When the notion of Woods’ off-course travails was broached – the former world No. 1 was arrested in May and later spent a month in rehab after a police toxicology report found five drugs in his system – Monahan said it was not considered when extending him the job. Instead, Monahan said Woods was recommended by past Presidents Cup captains such as Steve Stricker and Fred Couples. “The interest in him serving in that role was universal,” Monahan said. “There was no hesitation. He is one of the greats of our game and has meant so much to this cup, and we’re excited to have him as captain.”

–     Steve Elling