Fred Couples has backed Tiger Woods to represent his country in this year’s Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and next year’s Presidents Cup at the Royal Melbourne Club, Australia.

Woods has not played in a competitive event since November and is due to make his comeback in next week’s Masters, but when asked whether the world number one will be part of Corey Pavin’s team in October, Couples said: “I think so. I believe he’s ready and all the other team-mates want him there.”

Couples is the current US Presidents Cup captain and having led his country to a 19 ½ – 14 ½ win over the International team in 2009, is well-placed to assess the importance of Woods to the US team.

“He will definitely be on my team,” said the 50-year old 1992 Masters winner. “We’ve talked a few times, he’s my main man. I would want him to play as much as he can or as much he wants.”

However the present focus for Woods will be adding to his total of 14 major wins, starting at Augusta. Couples, a personal friend and regular Augusta practice partner of Woods’, said: “He’s the best player in the world, he’s won the thing (the Masters) a bunch of times, he knows how to play the course.”

Couples himself goes into the year’s first Major in great form, following three consecutive wins on the Seniors Champions Tour in America.

Where next?

Golf news: Faldo Series receives record entries
Competitions: Win golf prizes