Tiger Woods says he hasn’t given up hope of playing in this year’s Ryder Cup, despite blowing the opportunity to give his qualification prospects a shot in the arm at the Open Championship.
The 38-year-old, who opened with an encouraging three-under 69 at Royal Liverpool, failed to break par in each of his subsequent three rounds and ultimately ended the tournament on six-over-par and on course for his worst 72-hole finish in a major.
The former world No.1 was making only his second appearance since undergoing back surgery at the end of March and was encouraged to complete the tournament. Still, he admitted his display had fallen well below his own high standards.
“I got four rounds in,” he acknowledged. “Unfortunately, I didn’t play very well. I just made too many mistakes. I had two triples, two doubles, and two or three three-putts this way. Just way too many mistakes.
“But I got more game time under my belt. Obviously, there’s a lot of things I need to work on but I haven’t been able to work on a lot. I was down for three months, so I’m just starting to come back.”
His disappointing showing at Hoylake – the scene of his last Open triumph in 2006 – will have done little to improve his standing on the USA’s Ryder Cup points list, where he currently lies a distant 72nd and 63 places outside the last automatic qualification spot.
"He’s the captain. Obviously, it’s his decision." - Tiger Woods
Even so, he still believes that team captain Tom Watson would be doing the right thing by picking him for September’s match at Gleneagles.
Asked if he would be inclined to pick himself in Watson’s position, Woods replied: “I would say yes. But that’s my take on it. He’s the captain. Obviously, it’s his decision. He’s going to field the best 12 players that he thinks will win the cup back and I hope I’m on that team.”
After missing the 2008 match through injury, Woods was picked by then captain Corey Pavin for the 2010 contest at Celtic Manor after having had much of his season blighted that year by an Achilles’ injury. He points to that as proof that he can be a force for the USA in Perthshire in two months’ time.
“I was coming off an injury there as well,” he noted. “I sat out for most of the summer and I felt like I was able to contribute to the team. And that’s all you want as a pick. You want someone who can contribute to the team, whether it’s in support or in play. I did it then and, hopefully, I can acyually earn my way on to this team.”
Would you pick Tiger Woods?
It looks like Tiger Woods’ best hope of playing in the Ryder Cup is going to be as a wildcard. If you were US captain Tom Watson, would you pick him? Leave your thoughts in our ‘Comments’ section below.