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Woods warns Reed of hostile Australian crowds

“The fans we have down here are awesome and they are into their sport,” Woods said. “Yes, I have talked to Pat about it. But that is behind us and we are focused on this week, on trying to go up against this great international team here.

“As we all know, Pat was penalised. That was it. The end of story. Unfortunately he missed the play-off by two shots, but we are all in it this week getting ready for the Internationals.”

Reed has courted controversy throughout his career, which had its high water mark when he won the US Masters last year. He has also thrived on representing his country in teams-based events such as the Presidents and Ryder cups.

It is unclear who Woods will pair with Reed in the opening fourball contests on Thursday, if he uses the world No.12 at all.

Asked about the Reed controversy, International star Adam Scott played a straight bat.

“I guess it’s all kind of played itself out now,” he said. “The officials have dealt with it and we’re moving on.”

Patrick Reed courted controversy after appearing to flatten the sand to improve his lie at the Hero World Challenge.

Patrick Reed courted controversy after appearing to flatten the sand to improve his lie at the Hero World Challenge.Credit:AP

International captain Els said he already knew what pairings he would put forward for Thursday’s fourball opener having decided to start with the format over the traditional foursomes, which has been the side’s weakest division in Presidents Cup history.

“We’ve put some work into it and the guys know where they stand,” Els said. “We’re pretty clear of what we expect and what we’re doing on Thursday and Friday. We’re going accordingly.

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“There’s always pressure, but we’re the underdogs this week. There’s no secret about that. We’re playing at home and we’ve got a free go at it. That’s how the guys are approaching it.”

Fifteen-time major winner Woods is expected to play up to four sessions across the four days as he becomes the first Presidents Cup playing captain in 25 years.

“It hasn’t been done in quite a few years,” Els said. “There will be a lot of help for him. We’ll see how it goes. I don’t know how many sessions he’s going to play. Obviously he’s a big asset to their team and we can only do what we do, control what we can control, play the way we want to play and hopefully that’s good enough.”

Former world No.1 Scott will play in his ninth Presidents Cup, surpassing Els and Fiji’s Vijay Singh for the most amount of appearances in the tournament.

A week after claiming he would love to “stick it” to Woods, the 39-year-old exuded a quiet confidence the International team can cause one of the great Presidents Cup boilovers.

“I like the way this team has shaped up,” Scott said. “I think Ernie has done an incredible job guiding us into this position this week. Certainly with seven new guys on our team, I think that’s a positive for us. A bit of fresh blood. They’re really ready to go. I’m feeding off that young energy that is here this week.

“I think a big goal for me out there playing this week is to play really great and kind of win the crowd and get them inspired to cheer us home to a victory … then invite them to celebrate with us.”

The Presidents Cup is likely to be the last time Woods plays a competitive event in Australia.

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