Tiger, Stricker, Furyk named as Ryder Cup vice captains
November 18, 2015
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- Tiger Woods will be a part of the U.S. team at the Ryder Cup in 2016. (Kevin Cox/Getty Images)
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ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Tiger Woods will be one of the vice captains for Davis Love III at the 2016 Ryder Cup, but the 14-time major winner has not given up hope of making the team that will face the Europeans at Hazeltine in late September.
"Once I’m fully healthy, I’d like to try to make the team," Woods said. "But either way, I’m very excited."
Love announced Wednesday on the eve of The RSM Classic -- which he serves as tournament host -- that Woods, Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk will join Tom Lehman as vice-captains. He plans to name a fifth vice captain at a later date.
Woods and Furyk are full-time members of the PGA TOUR, although Woods is coming off two back surgeries and has not announced a specific date for his return to competition. Stricker is a part-time TOUR player after reducing his schedule a couple of years ago to spend more time with his family.
Love knows that Woods, who will turn 40 in December, still has designs on playing against the Europeans. If he does, Love said Woods would be a playing assistant. Woods currently ranks 36th in Ryder Cup points and will continue to fall until he returns to action.
The top eight players in points after the 2016 Barclays will automatically make the team, with Love naming four other players as captain's picks.
"He wants to make the team ... but he's also committed to helping me," Love said about Woods. "He wants to be the leader of his group. But he wants to do it from on the golf course. He doesn't want to be the general in the room. He wants to be in the battle."
Stricker and Furyk joined Love as three of the assistants for Jay Haas on the winning U.S. Presidents Cup team in Korea, with Furyk moving into his assistant role after an injury prevented him from competing after he made the team on merit.
Of the three vice captains named Wednesday, Furyk -- who has played in the last nine Ryder Cups -- is the closest to making the team as a player. He currently ranks 10th in Ryder Cup points. Stricker is 37th, just behind Woods.
The U.S. has lost eight of the last 10 Ryder Cups and is desperate to win the Cup on home soil this fall. A Ryder Cup Task Force that included Woods was created after the most recent loss in 2014 in Glenagles, Scotland.
Love hopes that having players the caliber of Woods, Stricker and Furyk as vice captains will make an impact.
"We just need to give the team the best opportunity to win," Love said. "We want to leave no stone unturned."
Woods has been a member of seven Ryder Cup teams as a player, but this will be his first time as an vice captain. Love said Woods contacted him with the idea.
"This is something I want to do," Woods said. "I will continue to do whatever I can to help win the Cup back."
In addition to serving as an assistant at The Presidents Cup, Stricker was also a vice captain for Tom Watson at the 2014 Ryder Cup.
"I think about the Ryder Cup all the time," Stricker said. "There is nothing quite like it in sports. I am ready to roll up my sleeves, get started and get up to Hazeltine.”
Davis Love III announces Ryder Cup vice captains before The RSM Classic