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WOODS MAY BE A VICE-CAPTAIN AT THE NEXT RYDER CUP

USA captain Davis Love III says Tiger Woods would be happy to be one of his vice captains if he does not make the team, but desperately wants to be selected

Tiger Woods has told USA skipper Davis Love that he could act as a vice-captain at next year’s Ryder Cup if he fails to make the team.

Love thinks that Woods will qualify automatically if he enjoys a good run of fitness but added that the former World No 1 has expressed his willingness to help the team in any way he can.

Fourteen-time Major winner Woods has struggled with injuries over the last few years and announced earlier this month that he had undergone back surgery for the second time and would not be back in action until early 2016.

The 2016 Ryder Cup is at Hazeltine and, speaking at an event held a year ahead of the biennial match against Europe, Love said he expects Woods to be involved in some capacity.

“I think Tiger, if he is healthy for the whole year, will be fine,” said Love.

“If he is in and out, does not get to play a whole lot of tournaments, it will be tough for him to make the team.

“He was showing signs before the last surgery that he was playing well and he desperately wants to make the team, he does not want to be an assistant captain.

“He wants the uniform but he wants to play and he wants the bag.”

Regarding possible vice-captains, Love added: “Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, they have all said ‘we will do whatever it takes to help you’, and we have them on the list.

“They are obviously guys that could be future captains, guys that we want around the team.

“We are hoping that all four of them are playing, we need their veteran leadership, but, if not, they have said ‘look, I will do whatever it takes’.

“Past captains have said the same thing, so we have a family now of willing participants, whether they are going to play or be assistant captains.”

Europe have dominated the Ryder Cup of late, winning eight of the last 10 matches, including a dominant 16.5-11.5 win at Gleneagles last year.

The USA have not triumphed since 2008 and the PGA of America have created a ‘Ryder Cup taskforce’ to examine their approach to the tournament.

Love said: “We are going to try and come up with a system, run the system for a while and see if it works.

“Phil Mickelson said it best. We are not going to win the next 10 Ryder Cups but let’s try to win seven out of the next 10, let’s have an offence that we are going to run and trust.

“I think what the PGA of America has done is give the players, the captains, a voice.

“I want this team to take ownership and I want this team to win for themselves. I have had several players come up to me and say ‘my number one goal in golf now is to be on a winning Ryder Cup team’. They don’t want to make the team, they want to be on a winning Ryder Cup team.”

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