Tiger Woods already has made the 2016 U.S. Ryder Cup team.
The question is whether Woods will be a vice captain, one of the players or both.
Captain Davis Love III named Woods, Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker to join Tom Lehman as his vice captains when the Ryder Cup is played next fall at Hazeltine National Golf Club while keeping open the option that Woods – and Furyk and Stricker, too – could play his way onto team.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) November 18, 2015
“Tiger has said ‘I want to make the team and also be a captain.’ Tiger wants to be a playing assistant. That’s his goal,” Love said Wednesday in making the announcement. “Tiger doesn’t want to be the general sitting in the room. He wants to be in the battle.”
Woods is on the mend from his second back surgery this fall and it’s unclear when he will return to competition.
“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 statement. “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 is a member of the new U.S. Ryder Cup task force that was created to change the Americans’ flagging fortunes in the event with an eye toward setting up a long-term leadership plan.
Earlier this year Woods had indicated his desire to be a part of the U.S. Ryder Cup team, even if he does not qualify. Love said Woods has been very involved in discussions about the direction of Ryder Cup preparations, as have the other vice captains.
“Every conversation we have is not just for Hazeltine but for down the road,” Love said.
Under Ryder Cup rules, both Love and European captain Darren Clarke are allowed five vice captains. Love said he will wait until sometime next summer to name his fifth vice captain and said both Phil Mickelson and Fred Couples are under consideration. Love said Mickelson wants to focus on making the team as a player rather than being an assistant captain.