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Captain Zach Johnson Confirms Tiger Woods Will Be A Part Of The U.S. Team At The Ryder Cup Next Year
‘Tiger loves the Ryder Cup…he will be part of the US team in a way’: Captain Zach Johnson confirms Woods will be a key part of US effort to win their first away game in 30 years
- Woods will be part of the US Ryder Cup team even if he can’t make it to Rome
- He had to fight back from a serious leg injury sustained in a car accident in 2021
- European captain Luke Donald is confident his team will be ‘underdogs’ next year
Despite all the talk of the big names not attending the next Ryder Cup, the involvement of a figure above all others is assured. Tiger Woods will play a role, said US captain Zach Johnson.
The capacity of his involvement has yet to be determined, and from there only an incurable optimist would bet that Woods has enough form or fitness to swing clubs and compete.
But in a speech on Tuesday in Rome, a year after the biennial game, Johnson was adamant that the 15-time major winner will be a key part of America’s effort to win their first away game in 30 years.
Tiger Woods will be part of the US Ryder Cup team next year, even if he can’t make it to Rome
“He’s going to be part of this team in a way — to be honest, he already is,” Johnson said. “I can’t put it mildly: he loves the Ryder Cup. He has made it a priority. He’s been through some things lately that make it difficult. But he wants to be a part of it as best he can.
“He will be relied upon a lot. He’s very calculated when it comes to these team events – he puts a lot of energy and effort into it, whether it’s phone calls, FaceTime, or just texting those he hasn’t attended.
“I remember in 2016 when he was vice-captain and he fully embraced his role. I will rely on him, and not only on myself, but also on some players. He is very much a part of Team USA. He is very passionate about the Ryder Cup and it shows in several ways.”
European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald (right) with US captain Zach Johnson in Rome
European captain Luke Donald, who appeared with Johnson at their first joint press conference, is confident his team will be underdogs, despite not having lost at home since 1993. It is also clear that the defections to LIV, led by Dustin Johnson, are having a tougher impact on Americans.
But Donald said: ‘The US has never had a stronger team in the world average ranking. They hid us pretty well in Whistling Straits last year and seemed very solid again in The Presidents Cup (win at the Internationals last month). I think they always seem stronger on paper.
“I’m not saying it’s a foregone conclusion because I’m confident we have a good chance of winning, but I still think we’ll be underdogs.”