Will Tiger Woods return for Ryder Cup and the Olympics?
Golf legend posts video of his swing after surgery as Davis Love III talks up his chances of a return to form
US Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III has suggested injured golf legend Tiger Woods could make the team for this year's showdown against Europe in September, just days after the former world number one posted a video of himself practising in a simulator.
Woods (pictured above), who has had three back operations in the past 18 months, has not played a tournament since August and his agent was forced last week to dismiss claims the 14-times Major winner had suffered another setback in his rehabilitation. The video, posted on social media and accompanied by the message: "Progressing nicely", appears to be another attempt to prove he will return.
Meanwhile, Love has told the BBC: "If [Woods] can play ten or 12 tournaments in a row, I think he can get his game back and make our team."
Woods has been drafted in as a vice-captain of the US team and is hoping to become the first playing vice-captain in the history of the event. "Tiger is very adamant he can handle both roles," said Love. "I think Tiger will work hard enough, if his body will allow it."
However, the golfer managed only 11 events in 2015 and carded his worst-ever professional round with a 13-over par 85 at the Memorial Tournament in June. He is currently ranked 445th in the world so Love's comments have "stunned the sport", says James Corrigan of the Daily Telegraph.
"Few will think Love's comments to the BBC are realistic. Never mind Woods standing at 69th in the Ryder Cup points list, he has not achieved a top five in more than two years," he adds.
More significant is the footage of Woods hitting a ball, says the Daily Mail. "Until now, there had been huge concerns about Woods's health - to the point where the likes of Rory McIlroy had expressed concerns that Woods might not ever be able to live a normal life again, let alone play golf, so troubled was he by his back.
"Yet Woods, dressed in blue shirt, black shorts, cap and shoes, appeared to swing the club without any hint of discomfort."
The paper says the golfer might have another target in addition to the Ryder Cup this year, noting the sport returns to the Olympics this summer after a 112-year absence.