Tiger Woods joins Ryder Cup staff; still hopes to play
Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. — Tiger Woods will be in France this year for the Ryder Cup as a vice captain.
Still to be determined is whether he gets to play.
U.S. captain Jim Furyk appointed Woods and Steve Stricker as two more of his vice captains for the Sept. 28-30 matches at Le Golf National. Furyk previously selected two-time Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III to assist him.
Woods has said he’d like to play and be a vice captain. Furyk hasn’t ruled that out. He will have five assistants with him at the Ryder Cup, and there are only four matches on the course at any time until Sunday singles.
“It’s possible,” Furyk said Tuesday. “Whether that’s the best thing for the team, we’ll see.”
Woods is returning from a fourth back surgery that has limited his golf to just 19 tournaments since the first of those surgeries a week before the 2014 Masters. He last played in the Ryder Cup in 2012 at Medinah, where he went 0-3-1.
Woods was a vice captain at Hazeltine for the 2016 Ryder Cup, when the Americans beat Europe for the first time in eight years. He also was an assistant at the Presidents Cup last fall. Players and other assistants have described him as being heavily involved.
Stricker, the Presidents Cup captain last year, will be a vice captain in the third straight Ryder Cup.
Woods has a 13-17-3 record in his seven appearances as a player in the Ryder Cup. He has played on only one winning team, in 1999 at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. He was a captain’s pick only in Wales in 2010.
“I want to do what’s best for Tiger and I want to do what’s best for the team, and that would be a bridge we cross when we got there,” Furyk said. “If he could be valuable as a player, I’m sure we would want him playing on this team. But there’s so much time to go.”
Woods tied for 23rd last month at Torrey Pines, and then missed the cut last week at Riviera. He is playing the Honda Classic this week, and likely has one more start at Bay Hill ahead of the Masters. He is No. 544 in the world ranking and not eligible for World Golf Championships, which offer higher Ryder Cup points.
“I think the good news-bad news for someone like Tiger Woods is: He’s played what? Three or four events? And we’re already talking Ryder Cup,” Furyk said. “That’s the nature of being Tiger Woods and obviously being one of the greatest players or the greatest player of all time. I’m anxious to see how he plays, so see how things go and we’ll do what’s best for him and the team.”