Tiger Woods: Ryder Cup wildcard selection is ‘beyond special’
Woods, Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau are confirmed for Team USA
2018 Ryder Cup
- What: Team Europe vs. Team USA
- When: 28-30 September
- Where: Le Golf National, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France
- Website: rydercup.com
Woods gets a wildcard
Tiger Woods has described his wildcard selection for the US Ryder Cup team as “beyond special”.
The 42-year-old has been named as one of four wildcard picks for the American team who will play Europe later this month in France, alongside Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Tony Finau.
The last time Woods was seen in the Ryder Cup was 2012. Since then injury and loss of form have kept him out of the competition. His inclusion in this year’s side is, according to The Guardian, the “latest chapter of a remarkable Tiger Woods comeback”.
‘It was a goal’
A good performance in this year’s Open was followed by Woods finishing second in the PGA Championship last month. His reward is a return to the Ryder Cup side.
“At the beginning of this year one of my goals was to make this team,” said Woods, who hasn’t won a major for ten years.
“I got the call from Jim [Furyk, Team USA captain], asking if I would be a vice-captain and I said ‘Absolutely, I’ll do anything to help you’, but also, deep down I wanted to make the team. I really wanted to play on it. It was a goal.
“As the year progressed I have gained some traction and was somehow able to get some high finishes. Lo and behold I’m part of this team. It’s… beyond special for me.”
Feather in our cap
The announcement was made by Jim Furyk, the US captain, and he said: “Tiger has been instrumental in helping not only captains before me but me as well. That’s in terms of strategy, pairings and we will continue to use that knowledge, but we want to free him up to practise and prepare, to work with his partner or partners.
“His role won’t change much but he will be a player. We are all excited. It has been great to have his help and to get a feel of one of the best minds in the history of the game on your side, helping out. It is a feather in our cap to have him on our side.”
The 24-year-old DeChambeau has been chosen for his Ryder Cup debut on the back of three wins this year on the PGA Tour (most recently at this week’s Dell Technologies Championship), while Mickelson, 48, was victorious in this year’s World Golf Championship in Mexico.
It will be the veteran’s 12th Ryder Cup but he’s still waiting for his first win in Europe.
“It’s obvious that the one thing that has been missing has been for our team to go over to Europe and win,” said Mickelson. “We have some incredible players and a really special opportunity to do something we haven’t done in a long time. It is a great challenge and a strong challenge because we know how well the European team plays at home.”
Team USA Ryder Cup squad
The 12 players on the US squad:
- Brooks Koepka
- Dustin Johnson
- Justin Thomas
- Patrick Reed
- Bubba Watson
- Jordan Spieth
- Rickie Fowler
- Webb Simpson
- Tiger Woods
- Phil Mickelson
- Bryson DeChambeau
- Tony Finau