Woods will be joined by Ernie Els, who will captain the global team during the matches at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia.
They spoke on condition of anonymity because the captain selections have not been announced, but it is expected to become official during this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.
They produced the biggest moment at the Presidents Cup in 2003 in South Africa when they were picked for a sudden-death playoff. They went three holes at Fancourt but the event ended in a tie after it was deemed to dark to continue. Woods, an American and the most accomplished and popular golfer in the past 20 years, and Els, a South African and an worldwide star, combine competitive energy and golf stature.
Woods has been heavily involved in team event while not playing in recent years because of back injuries. It would give the underdog Internationals a better chance for their first victory since 1998.
They also have battled plenty in tournaments.
Four-time major victor Els has finished runner-up to Woods seven times, including twice in the majors. Woods and Els offer two of the highest-caliber names in golf.
Off the course, Els is the player Woods sought out in the 1996 British Open when he was trying to decide whether to turn pro.
Woods was an assistant captain on last year's American team that won in blowout fashion.
The Presidents Cup has not had a playing captain since Hale Irwin went 2-1 for the Americans in a 20-12 USA victory in 1994.
The Presidents Cup has found tremendous corporate support with Italian carmaker Alfa Romeo, Citibank and Rolex, but the matches lack a competitive balance.
Woods was runner-up at the Valspar Championship on Sunday and plays at Bay Hill this week, where he is an eight-time victor.