Other than the 2011 Presidents Cup, Tiger Woods has never been a great team player in match-play events, but his appearance on Fred Couples’ team in Australia was inspiring to say the least. Like Fred Couples, 2014 Ryder Cup Captain, Tom Watson has maintained that if Tiger is healthy, and playing well, he would be at Gleneagles in October.
An Associated Press article filed in the Boston Herald this morning has re-affirmed Tom Watson’s stance. Watson is taking a wait-and-see approach, and is banking his pick on Tiger’s success on three tournaments. The Open Championship, The Bridgestone Invitational, and The PGA Championship.
The other factor, with Tiger currently at 209th in FedEx Cup standings, can he make the playoffs?
“He’ll be considered less of a pick then if he didn’t have a track record going into the Ryder Cup,” Watson said last week. “He’d be the first to tell you, ‘I haven’t been playing.’ How he’s been playing and if he’s healthy, those are the two factors that I’ll weigh in choosing him. That’s just common sense, in my opinion.”
Watson was brought in for his second Ryder Cup Captaincy to do one thing after the Miracle At Medinah saw the Ryder Cup leave the country once again. Go to Scotland, and bring it home!
Although there are some very good players who are currently qualified for the 2014 trip at this point, the team(if they were to leave today) would lack the veteran leadership needed to go into Scotland and win, as well as the Television draw for matches that will be held early in the morning, and not prime golf time.
In essence, if Tiger Woods, and Phil Mickelson are not yet qualified for the Ryder Cup, but can hit a golf shot at the time Tom makes his Captain’s selection, he has to take them. End of Story!
“I’ll be watching Tiger as he plays,” Watson said. “He’ll be playing at The Open Championship. Hope to get together with him there and tell him my feelings. … Right now, he’s way down the list as far as points. But who wouldn’t pick Tiger Woods to be on your Ryder Cup team? That is the question to everybody. Who wouldn’t pick him?”
There’s one thing for certain! The next month should write the story, and in the writing of that story, golf fans should be treated to a heck of a race, and some pretty good golf.
Then Tom Watson will need to make his decision, and I can almost guarantee that not everyone in this country will be happy. The golf purest’s will be unhappy if Tiger doesn’t play his way in, and the casual fan will not watch unless he’s there.
I can’t predict at this point if Tiger goes or not, but I can guarantee you that the Euro’s will be there, and they are loaded for bear.
Source: Associated Press, The Boston Herald