Woods states case for spot in Ryder Cup

Tiger Woods surprised after surging into contention in last two majors

Woods was expected to be given a wild card even before his thrilling performance in the US PGA Championship at Bellerive, where he finished second behind two-time US Open victor Brooks Koepka. However, to be at Bellerive was to witness a special sporting moment as Woods...

Woods, in the eighth month of his comeback from spinal fusion surgery, has not won a major since the 2008 US Open and hasn't won any event at all in five years. He climbed to 11th in the standings, with the top eight qualifying at the conclusion of the season's final major.

Furyk would not be pinned down on whether Woods was guaranteed a place in the team, skirting the question, no doubt cognisant of the diplomacy his job requires.

The 14-time major victor was appointed in Furyk's backroom in February when nobody - apart from maybe Woods himself - gave him a prayer of teeing it up in the Stars and Stripes for the first time since the Miracle of Medinah.

"I'm not sure the numbers are always that important when I look down the list", Furyk told reporters Monday. "Sixth place at the Open, second place at the PGA". His word is trending. "It's great to see him playing well".

"We knew what was going on", he said.

One player in contention for a captain's pick is Tiger Woods, who is back on form after finishing second behind Koepka at the US PGA.

He closed with a 4-under 66 for a two-shot victory over Woods and took his place among the elite in golf.

Sitting on a couch watching the Masters on television with an injured left wrist, Brooks Koepka never dreamed he would win two majors this year, much less battle his boyhood idols.

Yet Woods has played on only one winning Ryder Cup team and that was back in 1999 and last appeared in these matches at Medinah in 2012.

"He priceless, to be honest with you", Furyk said.


"He's priceless. He's been a really big help to our captains in both '16 and '17 from a strategy perspective", Furyk said.

"It's been a big boost having the best player maybe ever to live following your group and being there for support".

"But Tiger serves that objective as a vice-captain or a player and I'm looking forward to having his help". Webb Simpson kept hold of the last spot, meaning that the side already contain seven major winners.

Koepka said that just as his major victories on vastly different courses showed, he was up for any challenge. Even though the 42-year-old finished outside the automatic top eight qualifiers, he looks certain to receive a wildcard pick.

Facing the most important drive of the day on the par-5 17th, Woods sent it sailing to the right and it embedded in a hazard along the banks of a creek.

However, Faldo was shocked. Like everyone, he watched Woods descend into a pitiful figure who could barely walk and developed a dependency on painkillers.

The sixth and 10th holes played as the joint toughest in the final round, the par-three sixth to an average of 3.35 and the par-four 10th to an average of 4.35. "But his determination to get back and all his efforts is incredible". He is done, doomed and then suddenly he is two under par.

The Golf Channel's Justin Ray highlights how impressive the performance of Woods was at Bellerive, tweeting: "Tiger Woods: 266, lowest total score of his major championship career". Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson were a couple of the great ones who didn't win it when it was the final leg of their personal grand slams. "You could hear them", smiled Woods. Thomas, the only Ryder Cup rookie among the top eight, and Fowler played alongside one another at the 2017 Presidents Cup, going 2-0-1.

DeChambeau will be in the mix for one, but there are plenty of other names that will try to impress Furyk over the next few weeks.

Mickelson has played on every U.S. Ryder Cup/Presidents Cup team since he went 3-0 in the 1995 Ryder Cup at Oak Hill in NY.

Spieth and Reed have starred at each of the past two Ryder Cups as a team. "Just to be part of the conversation for the Ryder Cup is great", Woods said.

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