Tiger Woods will not be one of Steve Stricker’s assistants at the Ryder Cup, but the US captain, who said he had been in contact with the golfer, gave the most optimistic update since Woods was involved in a serious car accident on the 23rd. February.
In a speech to SiriusXM Radio after making his six selections for the US team to play against Europe on September 24, Stricker suggested for the first time that the 15-time champion might want to try playing golf again.
“I’ve talked a lot with Tiger,” Stricker said in an interview on Whistling Straits with former PGA Tour players Carl Paulson and Dennis Paulson. “He’s part of this Ryder Cup family; he will not be captain’s assistant this time just because of his ongoing rehabilitation to try to get better and try to play golf again, and it’s going well. He’s progressing, he has well, things are moving in the right direction. “
Last week, Stricker told ESPN that Woods would not be on the Whistling Straits as vice-captain. “He just is not able to be there at this point. He is progressing nicely, but Whistling Straits is a hard place to get around. He has already helped and will continue.”
Woods suffered significant injuries, including broken bones in his right leg and multiple injuries to his right ankle and foot, in the crash in Southern California. Neither Woods nor his agent, Mark Steinberg, have offered any official word on his progress for months other than a photo Woods posted on social media of him on crutches in his backyard. It was late April.
Steinberg could not be reached on Wednesday.
Woods, who became 3-0 as the playing captain for the United States at the 2019 Presidents Cup, played in late December at the Father-Son event with his son, Charlie. His last official tournament was the Masters 2020 in November.
He had undergone a fourth back procedure in late December and was rehabilitated from it in February when the accident happened while on his way to a documentary shoot at a golf course.
Woods was driving at high speed as his car crossed a median and ended up toppling over in a grassy area. He was in the hospital for almost a month.
In recent years, Woods had been very interested in being a part of the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. He assisted Stricker at the Presidents Cup 2017 and was the assistant to Davis Love III at the Ryder Cup 2016, both U.S. victories. He went 0-4 in 2018 in his last Ryder Cup appearance.