The 2023 Ryder Cup press tour officially began earlier this week as U.S. captain Zach Johnson and European captain Luke Donald made their way through Italy's capital city visiting various sites and attractions. On Tuesday, the photoshoots and fun were put on hold as a press conference awaited the two headmen in Rome.
Each were posed with questions regarding how host course Marco Simone may play next fall, and more importantly what the composition of their teams may be. While away from the public eye since the 150th Open, Tiger Woods' potential participation with the U.S. team in the Ryder Cup was brought into question for the American leader.
"Given who he is and what he's all about, I can't tell you right now: I don't know if he will be here next year, but he will be a part of this team in some capacity," said Johnson. "He already is, frankly. I can't put this mildly: He loves the Ryder Cup. He has made it a priority. He wants to be a part of it as best he can. He's gone through some things as of late that make it difficult, whether it's travel or what-have-you."
Woods was last a member of the 2018 U.S. Ryder Cup team in Paris, France, which endured a 17.5 - 10.5 defeat at the hands of the Europeans. The 15-time major champion accumulated a record of 0-4-0 playing alongside Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed in the team portion of the event and fell to Jon Rahm in Sunday singles.
This, however, was not Woods' last involvement in a team competition; he thrived a year later at the 2019 Presidents Cup as a playing captain. Woods led his team to a come-from-behind victory at Royal Melbourne and was perfect on the week with a 3-0-0 record.
He has since moved in the shadows the last two years. Delivering an inspiring speech to Team USA ahead of the final day of the 2021 Ryder Cup and, more recently, imparting wisdom to Davis Love III for the 2022 Presidents Cup, the 46-year-old's presence -- while not seen -- has been felt by the Americans.
Whether he takes on a vice captain's role remains to be seen, but Johnson all but confirmed Woods will be involved with the U.S. team for the 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome.
"He and I will be in constant communication," Johnson said. "I will welcome that. He has great ideas. Has great encouragement. He's always positive, and you know, the beauty of where we are as Team USA is we have got some really great youth that are participating now at a high level."