Vice captain Woods could play, reckons captain Davis Love III. Really?
America’s Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III has suggested that Tiger Woods could play in this year’s Ryder Cup.
On the face of it, it looks a bizarre view. Or maybe it’s just an optimistic, supportive one?
Woods is not only not playing competitive golf at the moment , he seems a long way off returning to it and his agent Mark Steinberg has had to deny reports that his rehabilitation is going badly.
Woods also has never had a particularly happy time at Ryder Cups (he has lost far more games that he has won); is ranked 445th in the world and he has already been appointed a vice captain for this year’s Ryder Cup.
But Love believes Woods could play in this year’s Ryder Cup: “He just needs a full season, like any athlete, to get himself straightened out. If he can play 10 or 12 tournaments in a row, he can get his game back and make our team”.
That is a big ‘if’. Woods has not played competitively since last August, is still some way away from being able to resume a place on tour, and even in his pomp rarely played many tournaments in a row, let alone as many as 12.
But if he does make the team as a player, he could become the first playing vice-captain in Ryder Cup history. “Tiger is very adamant he can handle both roles,” Love explains of a player who has been criticised in the past for not buying in to the Ryder Cup team culture.
As to Tiger’s chances of getting over his injuries and back to some sort of form, Love says: “If he keeps stopping and starting – and the injuries keep piling up – it’s going to be tough for him, but he’s very determined.”
Woods has a career 13-17-3 Ryder Cup record, going 4-8-1 in foursomes, 5-8-0 in fourballs and 4-1-2 in singles
In his most recent outing in the Ryder Cup was in 2012 at Medinah Country Club. He partnered Steve Stricker three times, going down each time.
They lost to Poulter and Rose in the opening days foursomes and then to Westwood Colsaerts in that afternoon’s fourballs. On the second day they lost to Garcia/Donald in the fourballs.
Woods then halved with Francesco Molinari in the singles, to make his sole contribution to his team’s points tally – half a point gained out of a possible four.