Watson gives healthy Woods the nod for Ryder Cup

Tiger Woods only has to get back to somewhere near his best and he’ll be playing in the Ryder Cup, even if he doesn’t qualify.

At least that was what US captain Tom Watson alluded to, more or less, at last weekend’s Greenbrier Classic in the US.

Tiger Woods Tiger Woods (Credit: Anthony Powter)

Watson played alongside the ‘youngsters’ in the Greenbrier, won by former Masters and US Open champion Angel Cabrera and when quizzed about the possible addition of Woods to his Ryder Cup team later this season was straight to the point.

“I’m absolutely delighted to see Tiger back,” Watson said. “I hope he’s healthy and I hope he’s not in pain.”

“And as I said, I want him on the Ryder Cup team – if he’s healthy and playing well.”

Of course it seems unlikely Woods will be able to qualify for the Ryder Cup on points, even if he should win one of the last two majors of the year.

But Watson has indicated in the past that you cannot have a player of Woods’ calibre “not on the team” if he’s fit and well.

Watson said if Woods wasn’t fit and right [for selection], he’d be the first one to tell him so.

Woods was a captain’s pick on the 2010 Ryder Cup team in Wales and the 2011 Presidents Cup team.

In both cases he had missed a lot of time through injuries that prevented him from qualifying for the team on points.

And just like the rest of the golf year, the interest in an event even as big as the Ryder Cup is probably doubled, if not more, if Tiger is there.