Jul 20, 2014; Wirral, GBR; Tom Watson during the final round at the 143rd Open Championship at The Royal Liverpool Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Watson: "Tiger Woods & Phil Mickelson not Automatic Picks"

The 2014 Ryder Cup is inching ever closer towards the September 23rd first day of competition at the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles in Scotland.

Team USA’s squad is playing out in the point standings about as cut and dry as it can be from No. 1 through No. 9, However, as always the discussion seems to circle back to two players — Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

Mickeslon to date in the season has the better look at playing his way on to the team as he currently sits in the 11th position in the Ryder Cup standings.

Woods however is sitting in the 70th position with only two events left on his schedule to try and impress US captain Tom Watson enough to use a captain’s pick on him. Or, he would have to win both the WGC Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs and have more chances to impress Watson.

With his recent form, Woods is not trending in the direction scoring wise that I could imagine him winning the next two events he tees it up in.

Watson, who believes everyone knows he will just automatically choose Woods and Mickelson with picks was quick to inform everyone neither player is an automatic pick.

“Obviously it’s going to be what it is, when it gets to that point”, said Watson in his post round press conference after his final round in The Open Championship. “It’s not gotten to that point yet. Ask me that question September 1st or September 2nd, when I make the three picks.”

“If Phil and Tiger don’t make it in the mix there, I’ve got some real thinking to do. Everybody is thinking that I’m going to pick them automatically. I can assure you that I’m not going to pick them automatically. I said about Tiger that I’ll pick him if he’s playing well and he’s in good health. And Phil is the same way. If he’s playing well, again, how can you not pick those two?”

Although Woods has been injured most of the 2014 season, it is an interesting stat to point out that Watson himself has more FedEx Cup points than Woods to this point. Which I believe is an interesting situation for Woods, as I think if he misses the FedEx Cup playoffs, I do not think he is a captains pick.

Watson of course will have some heavy decisions to make in the coming months in regards to his picks. I do not believe he is the type of captain to pick a player based on ratings or popularity — He wants to win the Ryder Cup. Period.

Something else to consider for thought. The last victory since 1999 for Team USA was in 2008. A team without Tiger Woods.

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Tags: 2014 Ryder Cup

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