Two weeks after missing the cut at the PGA Championship, eliminating him from FedEx Cup competition, Woods received a vote of confidence from the man charged with leading the United States team at November’s Presidents Cup.
On Thursday, U.S. team captain Fred Couples said he had already decided to add Woods to the 12-member squad as a wildcard.
Couples explained his rationale during a practice round at the Boeing Classic at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge.
“I’ve told him that he’s going to be on the team. There is no reason for me to wait till Sept. 26 to pick Tiger. He’s the best player in the world forever.”
Ten players will qualify for the roster based on accumulated points from the past two years, leaving Couples two captain’s picks to round out the team. The Americans will compete against non-European International players at Royal Melbourne in Australia on Nov. 14-20.
Apparently Woods’ current form is something Couples is willing to overlook in favor of his potential impact for the tournament.
“Is he playing well right now? No. (But) he almost won (The Masters) four months ago so you don’t do that by playing poor golf. In my opinion, when you’re the best player in the world for 12 straight years and you’re not on a team, there’s something wrong.”
Based on the current U.S. standings, Steve Stricker, Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickleson, Nick Watney, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, David Toms, Webb Simpson, Hunter Mahan and Bill Haas would make the cut.
The international team will likely include Australians Adam Scott and Jason Day, South Africans Charl Schwartzel, Retief Goosen and Ernie Els and South Koreans K.J. Choi and Y.E. Yang.