It may be a new year, but Abraham Ancer is still facing questions about what he considered an innocent remark he made months ago.
It was at the Mayakoba Golf Classic that Ancer was asked by reporters who he might like to face in singles' play when he made his Presidents Cup debut at Royal Melbourne.
"I would like to play against Tiger (Woods)," Ancer said. "But the truth is that our objective is to do everything we can to win. Winning a match in the singles would be very special, so we need to try to get the cup."
Ancer got his wish last month in Australia, having gone 3-0-1 through the first four sessions as the International team built up a lead. But Woods was well aware of Ancer's quip, placed himself against the Mexican in Sunday's opening match and took the point, 3 and 2, to spark an American comeback victory.
"Abe wanted it, and he got it," Woods said.
Teeing it up this week for the first time since the Presidents Cup, Ancer explained to reporters at the Sony Open that his initial comment that made the rounds was given in Spanish and that some of his intent was lost in translation when the comments were transcribed.
"I was like, well, out of the 12 guys who I would like to play on a big stage in a big event like that ... obviously I would like to play my hero growing up, Tiger Woods. (It would) be an incredible experience," Ancer said. "And so I didn't only learn from the golf course and from golf. I learned a lot about media and how it can get twisted. Yeah, definitely got twisted and just the context of how I said things. And maybe Tiger didn't know the way I said it."
Ancer won the 2018 Australian Open but remains in search of his first career PGA Tour win, a drought he hopes to end this week in Honolulu coming off a season in which he made his first trip to the Tour Championship. Despite the loss to Woods and the American comeback, he took plenty of positive memories from his Presidents Cup debut Down Under.
"Playing on a big stage like that was a lot of fun," Ancer said. "It was a week that I will never ever forget. The feeling of playing in front of the Aussie crowd and really the people from all over the world made the trip, it was really special."