Tiger Woods is almost certainly going to be a playing captain for the US team at the Presidents Cup in Melbourne in December, and that’s a positive for the Internationals.

That’s the opinion of 1998 Presidents Cup hero Craig Parry who famously chipped in to beat Woods and Fred Couples on the Saturday morning at Royal Melbourne Golf Club and then earned the first point of the final day singles with a 5&3 win over Justin Leonard.

That win by the International team 21 years ago remains their only success over the Americans in Presidents Cup history, but the ever likely scenario of Woods using one of four captain’s picks on himself next week could ironically help to deliver a second.

With his win at the inaugural Zozo Championship in Japan on Monday, Woods rose to No.6 in the world, the highest position of any American player not already qualified for the matches starting December 12.

Yet while his on-course exploits virtually demand his selection, Parry believes being immersed in his own match will limit the impact Woods can have as a captain on the matches taking place around him.

“I think he would be better off not playing,” Parry said. “He could stand on the third tee and tell his guys not to hit too far down there whereas if he is playing at that time he can’t get all that information to his players.

“It would be better for the International team if he was playing because it takes away a lot of the knowledge that he would be able to pass on otherwise.

“If he’s playing in the morning and has to pick a team for the afternoon, obviously he’s not thinking about what he’s doing right in that moment. That’s where the International team could maybe get a point or two back off him.

“If he was just there as captain he could relay a lot more information to all his players.

“You’ve got a person who is one of the greatest golfers of all time telling you what you should be trying to achieve on a hole and the best way to play it, and he’s not going to be able to do that.”

Of the eight Americans already confirmed to play in December only Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Webb Simpson played in the 2011 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne, earning a combined six points from the 15 matches in which they featured and losing each of their singles matches.

Woods was ranked 50th in the world and a captain’s selection himself that year and Parry is adamant his understanding of the golf course would be better utilised in a non-playing capacity.

“It takes a lot of local knowledge to play well at Royal Melbourne,” said Parry. “You’re not going to learn Royal Melbourne in a couple of days. It’s the type of golf course that you have to study and spend a lot of time on and play in all sorts of different weather.

“Tiger has played two Presidents Cups there and a person like Tiger I think would have got past Presidents Cup video footage and given it to all of his players. The hole locations are likely to be similar to what they have been previously, the putts are going to break very similar.

“It’s about doing a lot of homework and I think that’s where Tiger is very smart.”

Crediting the insights provided by International captain Peter Thomson in 1998 for his Heineken Classic win at Royal Melbourne seven years later, Parry is open to serving as a ‘secret assistant’ under International captain Ernie Els and sharing his knowledge with those unfamiliar with the layout.

“I think it would be fantastic to be able to pass on a bit of local knowledge as to how to play Royal Melbourne,” said Parry, acknowledging Els’ own impressive record at Royal Melbourne.

“When Ernie shot 60 around Royal Melbourne I was actually paired with him. I shot 66 and felt like I had 100.

“Ernie knows that golf course inside out and will be a fantastic captain and if I could help out in any way I’d be more than willing.”