In Brief

Ryder Cup: Tiger Woods will bring ‘fire’ to Team USA

Woods is named as a vice-captain but his goal is to make the US team as a player

Jim Furyk has backed Tiger Woods to bring “fire” to Team USA after the golfing legend was named as one of the vice-captains for this year’s Ryder Cup. 

The 14-time major winner will join Steve Stricker and Davis Love III in assisting Team USA captain Furyk for the event from 28-30 September at Le Golf National in Paris. 

Woods was also a vice-captain when the Americans beat Team Europe 17-11 at Hazeltine in 2016. He said that while he is thrilled to be named vice-captain again he still hopes to qualify for the US Ryder Cup team as a player.

“The Ryder Cup is incredibly special to me,” Woods told CNN. “I am thrilled to once again serve as a Ryder Cup vice-captain and I thank Jim for his confidence, friendship and support. 

“My goal is to make the team, but whatever happens over the course of this season, I will continue to do whatever I can to help us keep the cup. I’m excited about the challenge.”

Team USA captain Furyk believes Woods can bring “invaluable” experience against a Europe side looking to win back the trophy. Furyk said: “To win in Paris will be a great challenge, and to have Steve and Tiger share in the journey is important for me and for American golf.

“The deep appreciation they both have for competition, the concept of team, and the Ryder Cup is infectious. Their knowledge and experience will be an invaluable resource in our effort to retain the Ryder Cup.

“When you look at our team room now with the younger players, a lot of them became golf professionals, fell in love with the game of golf, because they wanted to emulate Tiger Woods. It’s great to have him.”

The 12-man Team USA line-up will consist of the top eight players in the US Ryder Cup standings plus four players selected by American captain Furyk. 

Currently ranked 544 in the world, Woods is a long-shot to make the Ryder Cup team unless he is named as a captain’s pick. But Furyk did not fully dismiss the idea of Woods playing in France when asked by the media.

“That would be a bridge that we would cross when we got there,” said Furyk. “If he could be valuable as a player I’m sure we would want him playing on this team.”

Team USA Ryder Cup standings

The latest Team USA Ryder Cup standings sees Dustin Johnson in top spot. The top eight in the standings will automatically qualify for the Team USA squad once the PGA Championship concludes on 12 August. Furyk will then name three of his captain’s picks after the Dell Technologies Championship on 3 September and the final selection will be announced after the BMW Championship on 9 September.

Top eight (as of 20 February) 

  • 1. Dustin Johnson 4,199.739 points 
  • 2. Brooks Koepka 3,464.658 
  • 3. Justin Thomas 2,975.023 
  • 4. Jordan Spieth 2,886.042 
  • 5. Matt Kuchar 2,438.587 
  • 6. Brian Harman 2,127.873 
  • 7. Gary Woodland 1,797.006 
  • 8. Rickie Fowler 1,724.387

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