Zach Johnson, Captain of Team USA, took part in the Sony Open, passing the cut and finishing in the last positions.
Like his opponent, Luke Donald, his season is certainly not focused on the results he achieves, but rather on the mission of closely following the “suitable” players for the call-up to the Marco Simone Golf & Country.
But, during a press conference, Johnson said he already had a certainty.
Tiger Woods will be part of the team.
Tiger Woods, Ryder Cup
“I might consider putting him among the players under two conditions”
“N.1, if he achieves numbers on the field and relevant scores, proving to be competitive”
“N.2, discussing it with him along with all the other guys on the team”.
Regarding the first condition, we already know that Woods declared, on the occasion of the Hero World Challenge of which he was host, that it is his intention to participate in the Majors and “in one or two other tournaments”, and it is therefore conceivable that it is very difficult to put together the numbers that guarantee automatic qualification.
To have a place on the field, the way of the pick would still remain, but the assessment of Tiger’s physical condition inevitably takes over.
Also in the Bahamas, Woods also said he would need “a couple more” surgeries on his leg, as it “wasn’t functioning properly.”
When I saw pictures of the PNC Championship, I couldn’t help but notice him limping off the greens (slightly).
And here condition N.2 comes into play
What would teammates think?
Tiger Woods has played eight editions of the Ryder Cup, and in the 2016 one, in Hazeltine, he was one of Davis Love III’s assistants.
He has taken part in nine editions of the Presidents Cup.
He assisted Steve Stricker in the 2017 edition and held the position of player-captain in 2019.
There is no doubt that with such a resume he represents an indispensable resource for any Captain of a USA Team and for the team itself.
And this is the meaning of Johnson’s subsequent words.
“If there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that Tiger Woods is extremely dedicated to this team and the upcoming Ryder Cup teams, I can’t say that enough.”
“So I think I’d do anything for the good of the team”
“I’m sure he’d say, ‘Yes, I can play’ or ‘No, I can’t'”
“He’s part of the team. It’s just a matter of figuring out on what level, right?”
Currently Zach Johnson has two vice-captains, Steve Stricker and Davis Love III (very recently appointed).
At a rough guess there is a free seat.