Tiger Woods to be vice captain at Ryder Cup

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Tiger Woods Named Ryder Cup Vice Captain



ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. (AP) — Tiger Woods will be at the Ryder Cup next year. Still to be determined is whether he plays.

U.S. captain Davis Love III said Wednesday that Woods, Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker will be vice captains for the 2016 matches at Hazeltine in Minnesota. It was part of an agreement with Europe to expand to a maximum of five vice captains.

Woods, however, wants to do both.

"Tiger has said, 'I want to make the team and also be a (vice) captain,'" Love said. "Tiger wants to be a playing assistant. That's his goal."

It seems like an audacious one given the state of the 14-time major champion. Woods has played only 20 tournaments in the last two years because of a pair of back surgeries and a recent follow-up procedure on his back. He has said it would be a long, tedious recovery and did not know when he could return to competition.

Woods has only one top 10 in the last two years.

Furyk and Stricker were vice captains in the Presidents Cup last month in South Korea. Stricker has been playing a reduced schedule the last few years and has slipped outside the top 200 in the world ranking. Furyk is No. 9 in the world and is coming off a solid season with his 17th career win and $3.7 million.

The five vice captains would allow one of them to be with each match during the team sessions, with another that Love described as a "floater." Last year at Gleneagles, European captain Paul McGinley had one of his assistants with the players who sat out some of the team sessions.

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Tiger Woods through the years
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Tiger Woods to be vice captain at Ryder Cup
Tiger Woods, is shown during Masters practice in Augusta, Ga. in this April 5, 1995 photo, will try to add one of the few amateur titles he does not already own to his collection as the NCAA golf championships begin in Ooltewah, Tenn. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Tiger Woods, of Stanford University, follows his drive on the thirteenth hole during the NCAA Men's Golf Championships in Ooltewah, Tenn., on Wednesday, May 29, 1996. Woods, a Stanford sophomore, is a two-time winner of the U.S. Amateur Championship. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Tiger Woods coaxes in the ball into the hole for a birdie on the par-4 third hole Saturday, Aug. 24, l996, during his U.S. Amateur match with Joel Kribel at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, Ore.(AP Photo/Robin Loznak)
Tiger Woods kissed the U.S. Amateur trophy after winning an unprecedented third U.S. Amateur championship, Sunday, Aug. 25, l996, at the Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, Ore. Woods won the title on the 38th hole.(AP Photo/Jack Smith)
Golfer Tiger Woods holds up the trophy after winning the Mercedes Championships in a one hole playoff at La Costa Country Club Sunday Jan. 12, 1997, in Carlsbad, Calif. The tournament was shortened to 54 holes because of rain and Woods and Tom Lehman played a one hole playoff. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
Masters third round leader Tiger Woods talks with reporters after finishing his round of play at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., Saturday, April 12, 1997. (AP Photo/ Dave Martin)
Masters champion Tiger Woods addresses the crowd after he receives his Green Jacket at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., Sunday, April 13, 1997. (AP Photo/ Amy Sancetta)
U.S. golfer Tiger Woods lines up a putt during the final day of the American Express Championship event in Valderrama, southern Spain Sunday Nov. 7 1999. (AP Photo/Denis Doyle)
Tiger Woods reacts on the 18th hole after winning the 2001 Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., Sunday, April 8, 2001. Woods captured this second Masters title, defeating David Duval by two stokes. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)
US golf player Eldrick "Tiger" Woods after hitting a ball during a pro shoot out prior to the SAP Open in St. Leon-Rot, 60 miles (100km) south of Frankfurt, Germany, Tuesday, May 15, 2001. 156 players participate in this tournament from May 17 to May 20, 2001. (AP Photo/Daniel Maurer)
Tiger Woods tips his cap after birdeying the 18th hole Thursday, June 13, 2002, during the first round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship at the Black Course of Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, N.Y. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Tiger Woods holds the 2002 U.S. Open Golf Championship trophy, Sunday, June 16, 2002, at the Black Course of Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, N.Y. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Tiger Woods drives during early morning practice for the Ryder Cup at The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield, England,Thursday Sept. 26,, 2002. The competition is scheduled to get underway on Sept. 27.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
U.S golfer Tiger Woods during the first day of the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open tournament in in Gut Kaden near Hamburg, northern Germany on Thursday, May15, 2003. (AP Photo/Fabian Bimmer)
Tigers Woods chips onto the fifth green, Saturday May 15, 2004, during the third round of the Byron Nelson Championship in Irving, Texas. Woods finished Saturday with a 202 total, three strokes behind leader Sergio Garcia. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tiger Woods watches his drive on the 10th tee during first round play of the 2005 Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., Thursday, April 7, 2005. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Tiger Woods reacts to his tee shot on the first hole during second round play in the 87th PGA Championship at the Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J. Friday, Aug. 12, 2005. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Tiger Woods smiles as he discusses being named professional golf's Player of the Year for the eighth time in his career at a news conference at Sherwood Country Club, where he is preparing to host the Target World Challenge, in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2006. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Tiger Woods chats on the eighth tee in the Pro-Am round of the Target World Challenge golf tournament at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Tiger Woods talks about his experience of caddying and the recuperation of his knee after his work at Torrey Pines where he caddied for contest winner John Abel Monday Oct. 20, 2008 in San Diego. Abel, of West Berlin, New Jersey won a contest that entitled him to have Tiger Woods caddie for him. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2009 file photo, Tiger Woods, from the United States, lines up a putt during the third round of the Australian Masters golf tournament at the Kingston Heath Golf Club in Melbourne, Australia. Authorities say Woods has been seriously injured in a car wreck in Florida. The Florida Highway Patrol says the PGA star hit a fire hydrant and a tree as he pulled out of his driveway early Friday, Nov. 27, 2009, in his 2009 Cadillac sport utility vehicle. Woods was taken to Health Central Hospital. His condition was not immediately known, though the news release said his injuries were serious. (AP Photo/Andrew Brownbill, File)
Tiger Woods drives from the fifth hole tees during the final round of the Chevron World Challenge golf tournament at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)
Tiger Woods poses with his trophy after winning the Chevron World Challenge golf tournament at Sherwood Country Club, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011, in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Woods closed with clutch birdie putts, including holing a 6-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole for a 3-under 69, to win by one shot over former Masters champion Zach Johnson. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)
Tiger Woods looks on during the third round of the World Challenge golf tournament at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Bret Hartman)
Tiger Woods tosses a leaf in the air to check the wind on the fifth tee during the final round of the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge golf tournament at Sherwood Country Club, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Tiger Woods holds himself up on the first tee during the third round of the Hero World Challenge golf tournament on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, in Windermere, Fla. Woods lost his voice overnight and was nauseated before and during the third round at Isleworth. (AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.)
Tiger Woods acknowledges the crowd after finishing his round on the ninth hole during the first round of the Wyndham Championship golf tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
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Love already announced former Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman as one of his assistants.

"These three guys joining Tom Lehman will send a message to our team that we are really serious about this Ryder Cup, so that the members know that we're going to do whatever it takes to put them in the best position to win in 2016," Love said.

Europe has won six out of the last seven times.

Among the strategies that came out of a Ryder Cup Task Force was to have vice captains who were either past captains for would be considered future captain. Love approached Woods, Furyk, Stricker and Phil Mickelson about being vice captains.

Mickelson turned him down — for now — because he is only thinking about making the team. Mickelson hasn't won since the 2013 British Open and has fallen out of the top 25 in the world for the first time in 20 years. He was a captain's pick for the Presidents Cup and went 3-0-1.

"He walked off the 18th green telling me, 'I'm ready to go for Hazeltine,'" said Love, who was in South Korea as an assistant. "When I asked him about this, he said, 'Look, I'll do whatever it takes. I'm focused on making your team and playing on your team. I can't do both.'"

That's not how Woods viewed it.

Love referenced a "pod" system successfully used by Paul Azinger in the last U.S. win in 2008 in which four players are matched together during the week. He said if Woods were to make the team, he wanted to be remain a vice captain and be in charge of his pod.

"Tiger wants to be a leader of that group, but he wants to do it from on the golf course," Love said. "He doesn't want to be the general sitting in the room. He wants to be in the battle. I talked at length with Jim, Tom and Steve about it. They agree. Tiger is very capable of doing that."

Love said Woods called him during the Presidents Cup and expressed interest in being a vice captain — and possibly more.

"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."

Love said Furyk and Stricker told him they would not be interested in doing both. If either were to make the team, Love can name a replacement.

This is the earliest a U.S. captain has announced his assistants, and there was a reason for that.

"We've got to get to work," Love said.

The Ryder Cup starts Sept. 30 outside Minneapolis.

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