Blog Entry

Has Tiger earned his U.S. stripes already?

Posted on: February 28, 2012 3:13 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2012 3:19 pm

By Steve Elling

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- In case you were wondering what it would take for Tiger Woods to be bypassed as a member of the U.S. Ryder Cup team later this season, you have your answer.

Courtesy of U.S. captain Davis Love, the guy who makes the final call.

Love indicated Tuesday at the Honda Classic that unless Woods is dead, dismembered or has the small pox, he will be a member of the American side.

OK, so that's not the exact quote, but it's close. Love didn’t go quite as far as Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples, who last summer gave Woods a spot on the team even though he had not earned it with his play, Love gave every assurance that the striped one will play at Medinah.

In fact, when asked what scenario it would take for Woods to be left at home, Love gave a very narrow definition.

"If he was hurt or didn't play a full season," Love said. "But if he plays and he's healthy, again, I would have a hard time seeing him not making the team one way or another."

Woods has been added to the last two international cup teams as a captain's pick as he tries to patch together his game after his well-chronicled personal and professional issues. The last time Woods didn’t play on one of the annual cup teams was at the Ryder Cup in 2008, which the U.S. won without him in Louisville.

The U.S. Ryder points list is compiled by using PGA Tour earnings from the past two seasons, but is heavily tilted toward money list for 2012. Woods has played twice, with mixed results, and is buried at No. 32 at the moment, though this early in the year, one good week puts him back near the top of the chart.

When Phil Mickelson and Hunter Mahan won, they jumped into the top five. The top eight in points are automatic picks, while gets to use discretionary picks on the other four.

"Well, how many tournaments has he played?" he said of Woods' position. "I think like Phil, or like Hunter, all it takes is one week, you know.  I think if he plays a full schedule, he's going to be right in there.  I just keep saying if he's healthy, he's going to make the team.

"I think that's what Fred, what anybody, would think. If he's healthy, he's going to be on the team one way or another."

Sounds pretty close to a guarantee to us, no?

"II love the way he's played," Love said of Woods' recent uptick. "He had really one bad day since the [ Open last fall], he's had one bad round, really."

In a controversial move, Woods was added to the Presidents Cup team as a captain's selection last fall and went 2-3, though he scored what proved to be the clinching point. He hasn't won an official event on the PGA Tour in nearly 30 months.

Love is feeling pretty confident about his troops at the moment. American players have claimed the first nine PGA Tour-sanctioned events this year, the longest streak to open a year since Yanks won 12 in succession to start the 1991 season.

"It's been very exciting for me, and I know for the American golf fans, to see them playing well," Love said.

The complete list of U.S. Ryder Cup points through the Mayakoba and match play events last week:


Since: May 22, 2008
Posted on: March 6, 2012 9:57 am

Has Tiger earned his U.S. stripes already?

neither is Phils but he is a gimme on the team Ryder cup is a team sport its what you bring to the team I dont hear any of the us golfers complain about Tiger being there whne you got the one of the best players in the game do you leave him on the bench or play him. Funny thung is Tigers game is coming around so this will be a mute point

Since: Jan 17, 2012
Posted on: March 6, 2012 6:35 am

Has Tiger earned his U.S. stripes already?

Roid rage for Tiger!!

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: March 5, 2012 10:48 pm

Has Tiger earned his U.S. stripes already?

Um.  The last time I checked there were TWELVE players on each team -  It's not an individual event.  It's a TEAM event -  

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: March 5, 2012 10:46 pm

Has Tiger earned his U.S. stripes already?

Tiger will easily playhis way onto the team.  There will be no controversy this time -  

Since: Aug 10, 2009
Posted on: March 5, 2012 8:51 pm

Has Tiger earned his U.S. stripes already?

How about letting him make it on his playing ability. He wouldn't make it that way.

Care to rethink those thoughts?  Dude just shot a 62 yesterday(best score of his career), not to mention, he hasn't played that bad this year.  People are more critical of his game than anyone else's.  Granted, it's not the Tiger we're all used to seeing, but I have a feeling he'll be back on top sooner than later.  Ryder Cup team should be an easy pick for any captain.  This year's Masters will be major win #15.   &nbs

Since: Feb 28, 2012
Posted on: March 5, 2012 7:03 pm

Has Tiger earned his U.S. stripes already?

Perhaps it's not THAT he is named tpo the team, it's HOW it happens.

His 2-3 record at the PresCup didn't really convey how he played or his contribution.  He did play solidly and I think his team drew energy from him doing so.  The Ryder Cup coverage will be HUGE with him in it and not so much without him.  He has improved since Australia and he WILL contribute significantly to the RC.  It is a team event and he his play will elevate and, like players in other sports, will help players around him be even better competitirs. He most definitely belongs but I wish the captains would find another way to reveal the news, other than through the media well before other anouncements are made.

Since: Aug 8, 2009
Posted on: March 5, 2012 4:08 pm

Has Tiger earned his U.S. stripes already?

Oh common people, Tiger is GOLF! If he is not playing, no one will watch them!

Since: May 2, 2010
Posted on: March 5, 2012 3:55 pm

Has Tiger earned his U.S. stripes already?


Since: Mar 4, 2008
Posted on: March 4, 2012 10:42 pm

Has Tiger earned his U.S. stripes already?

Why not put John Daly on the RYDER Cup team
Because he's not one of the best 100 players currently and he'd tell you that.

Since: Feb 29, 2012
Posted on: March 3, 2012 9:31 pm

Has Tiger earned his U.S. stripes already?

I think Love's comments are not so much a guarantee, as an assumption that he expects
Woods to be playing excellent competitive golf if he is healthy.  If his assumption is correct,
of course Woods will make the team.  Woods' past accomplishments certainly do not hurt
his cause, but I think Love expects him to get his game back.

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