Captain Zach leaves Ryder Cup door open for “extremely invested” Tiger

Ronan MacNamara
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Tiger Woods and Zach Johnson (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Team USA captain Zach Johnson has refused to rule out Tiger Woods assuming a playing role in September’s Ryder Cup  with the pair in regular dialogue over his progress as he continues to recover from a life threatening car accident 23 months ago.

Woods plans to play at least four events after appearing in just three major championships last year. The fifteen-time major champion has made eight USA appearances in the Ryder Cup with the most recent of these coming in 2018 after he won the TOUR Championship, he has also featured in nine Presidents Cups for Team USA.

Woods also served as vice-captain in 2016 in Hazeltine and Johnson has previously confirmed that he will be part of the team in some capacity but has left the door ajar for a playing role at Marco Simone.

“I would only contemplate having him on the team if he felt he was putting up some numbers and some scores, number 1, showing some sign of being competitive,” explained Johnson who won the 2007 Masters and 2015 Open Championship.

“And then number 2, that discussion would be had with the other guys that are a part of that team, and specifically him.

“If there is anything I trust in Tiger Woods, is that he’s extremely invested in this team and the future Cups. Extremely invested. I can’t speak that enough.

“And then I think you would do anything and everything for betterment of the team. I don’t like basing on assumptions, but I’m confident that he would say, yeah, I can play, or no, I can’t, if that makes sense.

“Now, from all accounts, and we’re communicating with him quite a bit. Actually trying to get a phone call here shortly, but nothing of any substance. He’s a part of the team. It’s just a matter of to what degree, right?

“Another piece of that is this golf course. You’ve seen it. It’s fun in a golf cart. I don’t think it’s going to be a whole lot of joy just walking, because, you know, it’s extremely hilly, it’s definitely hillier than Augusta National.”

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