Could Tom Watson really leave Tiger Woods off Ryder Cup team?

Tom Watson has some big Ryder Cup decisions on the horizon. (Getty Images)
Tom Watson has some big Ryder Cup decisions on the horizon. (Getty Images)

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I envy Tom Watson's eight major wins but I do not envy the three huge decisions he's about to have to make when it comes time for picking the Ryder Cup team.

Obviously there's the Tiger Woods situation but it's even more complicated than that. The nine golfers Watson wants to qualify probably aren't going to qualify automatically. 

Here's a look at the current standings:

So what happens if Brendon Todd and Chris Kirk sneak inside that top nine and Watson has to use his captain's picks on Phil Mickelson, Jason Dufner, and Zach Johnson.

Surely he would pick those three over a gimpy Tiger Woods, right?

Watson has already said nobody is exempt from scrutiny.

"If Phil and Tiger don't make it in the mix there, I've got some real thinking to do," said Watson. "Everybody is thinking that I'm going to pick them automatically. I can assure you that I'm not going to pick them automatically."

There's still a ton of golf left, though and as this New York Times article pointed out on Tuesday, a lot of moving and shaking still to do.

"Where it gets tight is at the bottom. Only $430,275 separates Jason Dufner at No. 8 from Webb Simpson at No. 15. Of the next five players behind Zach Johnson, Mickelson is the only one with Ryder Cup experience."
"Mickelson has more realistic chance. He is the equivalent of $198,056 in earns behind Zach Johnson in the No. 9 spot, and money counts double at the PGA Championship."

There could be more on the line at Valhalla than just the year's fourth major as a ton of guys at the bottom try to ride a late-season wave on to Gleneagles.

And you know what? With the ratings freefall golf has experienced somebody should televise Watson's decision with a split screen of Tiger's reaction.

I'd pay money to watch that.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter or Google+ and like us on Facebook.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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