U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III just announced his three vice captains for the 2016 Ryder Cup tournament coming to Hazeltine National in Chaska next September: Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk -- and Tiger Woods.
Many believed Woods would not be able to recover from a bad back -- and bad play, of late -- to make the U.S. team. This move leaves the door open for a Woods'comeback, and him playing, but appears to book him for Team USA either way.
"Tiger wants to be a playing assistant," Love said Wednesday, according to the PGA Tour Twitter account. "That's his goal. He wants to make the team, but he wants to be involved in any way."
If Woods doesn't make the playing team, he would be just a non-playing vice captain. In 2014, the U.S. had three nonplaying vice captains.“I’d like to thank Davis for his confidence in me and for my selection as a Ryder Cup Vice Captain. This is something I want to do,” Woods said in a release. “I will continue to do whatever I can to help win the Cup back. Once I’m fully healthy, I’d like to try to make the team too, but either way, I’m very excited to work with Davis, the other Vice Captains and the players to get a U.S. victory.”
Woods has played in seven Ryder Cups (1997, ’99, ’2002, ’04, ’06, ’10, ’12), and played in two majors (2002 and 2009 PGA Championship) at Hazeltine. He has a 13-17-3 record in seven Ryder Cup appearances.
Woods told Love last month during the Presidents Cup that he would like to serve as a vice captain during next year’s matches if he didn’t qualify for the team, according to the Golf Channel, and he reiterated those sentiments on Wednesday.
“Tom, Jim, Steve and Tiger have over 50 years of combined Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup experiences that they are eager to share,” Love said in a statement. "They’ll also be my eyes and ears from event to event next year on Tour. That’s invaluable.”
Earlier this year, Love named Minnesotan Tom Lehman to an assistant captain position.