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Tiger Woods wants to be a part of the 2016 Ryder Cup experience, even if he doesn’t qualify for the Americans’ 12-player squad.
The 39-year-old has offered to serve as an assistant captain for Davis Love’s upcoming Ryder Cup team if he can’t make it on as a player.
Woods was soaking in the second day of Presidents Cup four-ball matches on Friday when he decided to call Fred Couples, who was an assistant to U.S. captain Jay Haas and a Presidents Cup captain himself in 2009, ’11 and ’13. Woods spoke briefly With Couples, and then asked to chat with fellow assistant Love.
There were no words minced in their talk. Woods, a member of the recently-created Ryder Cup task force, made it clear that he wanted to aid the U.S. in the 2016 Ryder Cup, even if doing so as an assistant captain.
“He (Woods) was watching at home and he just had to call,” Love said. “He was talking about all the things he thought we needed to do, and he had a lot of ideas. We’re already doing a lot of planning for next year, and it’s great. It’s part of the whole process that started after Gleneagles (a five-point American loss to Europe). Everybody is thinking about it, which is great.”
Woods very well might need to be assistant captain to be involved. Last month the 14-time major champion announced that he underwent back surgery and expected to be out until at least early 2016. Woods has fallen to No. 311 in the world and could drop hundreds more spots before he returns to competition.
Love has named only one assistant so far, Minnesota native Tom Lehman, but said he doesn’t plan to wait long in bringing on the rest of his crew. That could hurt Woods’ odds as he attempts to make the team as a player during the 2016 season. Love noted that Woods, who turns 40 on Dec. 30, appears to be devoted to the American mission: end Europe’s three-match winning streak.
“We’ve already been doing a lot of planning,” Love said. “And Tiger is just as interested as the rest of us to get going.”