The Ryder Cup is due to kick off in just a few weeks’ time and already people are discussing who will and won’t be involved.
The USA will be delighted to have 2018’s finest golfer in Brooks Koepka on their team after his recent PGA Championship win, but they’ll also be happy to hand a wildcard place to Tiger Woods, after the 42-year-old failed to make it as one of the top eight qualifiers.
Woods had already been named as the vice-captain of Jim Furyk’s team ahead of their defence in France, but now Furky has been left with no doubt in involving Woods in a playing capacity thanks to his recent resurgence in form. Last time out, Woods managed to close on a six-under-par score of 64 to finish second to Koepka at the PGA Championship and this came just a month after he finished 6th at the Open. There’s no doubting Tiger’s credentials as he edges closer to securing a major championship win following a decade long drought.
In all fairness, the former world number one has done remarkably well to get into contention for Ryder Cup selection. He may have finished eleventh on the qualifying table, but he didn’t return to the PGA Tour circuit until the start of the year. Therefore, he’s shown that he still has the ability and there’s no doubt he’s still one of the top golfers in the United States as things stand.
There may be a couple of questions to answer ahead of the Ryder Cup where Tiger is concerned. The first is whether Tiger can find that elusive winning touch once again. So far, we’ve seen Woods engineer himself into some superb positions, but he hasn’t been able to build on them to turn them into victories. There are also question marks as to whether Woods will also remain one of Jim Furyk’s fight-hand men, or whether he will now solely be focusing on playing.
Speaking about the current situation Furyk said, “It is something I will discuss with Tiger and the other vice captains, what’s best for the team.” He went on to add, “And we’ve kind of talked about that all year, what’s best for Tiger, what’s best for the team and we’ll make that decision together and we’ll move on.” Furyk, who will captain the USA, seems very at easy with how things are regarding Tiger, and that’s certainly a good thing for all parties involved.
There’s also a strong belief that Phil Mickelson will too be a wildcard entry alongside Woods. Speaking of the paid Furyk said, “They bring a lot to the team room, both those players as leaders. They can be the calm in the midst of a storm.” So, reading between the lines, it seems that both Woods and Mickelson will be involved, and there will be no complaints at that as the USA look to defend their Ryder Cup Crown this September.