Woods lauds USA's strength in depth ahead of Presidents Cup bid

The United States are heavy favourites to retain the Presidents Cup and Tiger Woods has full faith in his side in Australia this week.

Ernie Els (left) and Tiger Woods during the fan experience opening celebration prior to Presidents Cup.   -  Getty Images

Tiger Woods is confident his United States team have the strength in depth to claim victory in the Presidents Cup, despite a lengthy journey to Australia "in a luxurious tin can".

The USA will seek to win an eighth consecutive edition of the competition against their International opponents in Melbourne, with captain Woods headlining a star-studded visiting line-up.

Even with four-time major winner Brooks Koepka forced out through injury, the USA are heavy favourites to prevail and Woods has faith in his team to deliver the goods this week.

"I think our strength is that we are a very deep team," he said at the captains' media conference on Tuesday. 

"The guys have played well this entire year, and you know, we had 11 out of 12 guys play last week, so it was nice for them to shake off some rust, get a feel for things.

"Today is an important day for us to just walk and to stretch our legs a bit. Getting in yesterday after a 26-hour ride in a luxurious tin can, it's nice to actually get out there and feel some fresh air."

One man sure to attract attention from the crowd is Patrick Reed, who has been embroiled in controversy since being hit with a two-stroke penalty at the Hero World Challenge at the weekend.

The American was penalised for improving his lie in a bunker, hitting the sand twice during his practice swings in a move he insists was unintentional.

It is expected that Reed, already a divisive figure, will come in for some rough treatment, but Woods had some kind words for the local fans.

"Well, I'm sure somebody's going to say something out there," he admitted.

"But I think that in general, all the times I have been to Australia and have played here, the fans have been fantastic.

"They are the most knowledgeable, the most excitable fans. They love their sport. They are going to come out and it's going to be bipartisan, as it should be.

"They are going to root for the Internationals more so than they are us. There's nothing wrong with that."

Opposing captain Ernie Els struck a defiant tone despite history weighing heavily against the International side, who have not won the tournament since 1998. 

"I've got a great young team [and] I've got some experienced players," said the South African.

"Guys are naturally just standing up; guys who are quite comfortable to speak – and I like that. I like the spirit we have this week."