Next year's U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III has said Tiger Woods, if unable to qualify for the team, could serve as an assistant captain at the 2016 matches at Hazeltine in Chaska, Minnesota.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Love said he thinks Woods will automatically qualify if he can remain healthy through 2016. The 14-time major winner would surely rather compete on the team than serve as an assistant captain, but after yet another back surgery, Woods' health next year is questionable at best.
“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,” said Love. “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.”
Love also mentioned Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk as potential assistant captains, adding that, “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.’”
Team USA's recent Ryder Cup woes are no secret--Europe has won six of the last seven matches dating back to Oak Hill in 1995. With the PGA of America's Ryder Cup Task Force in place, what changes can the American squad expect going forward?
“We are going to try and come up with a system, run the system for a while and see if it works," said Love. “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 offense that we are going to run and trust.
“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.”