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Tiger Woods named Ryder Cup vice-captain but he still harbours hopes of playing

Davis Love III is assembling his team for the biennial showdown with Europe.

UNITED STATES CAPTAIN, Davis Love III, has this evening named Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods as three of his five vice-captains for next year’s Ryder Cup at Hazeltine.

Tom Lehman, the 2006 captain for the K Club, was appointed vice-captain last year with Love set to reveal his final assistant in the new year.

“To welcome four vice-captains of this calibre is a giant first step towards preparing the 2016 team for success” Love said.

“Tom, Jim, Steve and Tiger have over 50 years of combined Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup experiences that they are eager to share.

“They’ll also be my eyes and ears from event to event next year on Tour. That’s invaluable and, as Captain, I am grateful for their commitment, dedication and passion to win.”

It is Woods’ first appointment as a vice-captain but the 14-time major winner could still yet play in the Ryder Cup should he earn enough points or be one of Love’s captain’s picks.

Indeed, if any of his assistants qualify to play, Love has the option to replace them.

“Once I’m fully healthy, I’d like to try to make the team too, but either way, I’m very excited to work with Davis, the other vice-captains and the players to get a US victory,” Woods said, who has played in seven Ryder Cups.

The Americans lead the all-time rivalry 25-13 with two drawn but the Europeans have won three in a row, six of the past seven and eight of the past 10.

Woods, who turns 40 next month, is coming off two back operations and has not announced a timetable for his return to competition, but he also said he has not ruled out making the team as a player, a difficult feat given his injuries and struggles of late.

“I would like to thank Davis (Love) for his confidence in me and for my selection as a Ryder Cup vice-captain. This is something I want to do,” he said.

Wyndham Championship Golf Woods is working his way back from injury. Source: Chuck Burton

Stricker and Furyk joined Love as three of the assistants to Jay Haas on the triumphant US Presidents Cup team in South Korea last month.

Furyk, 45, won the 2003 US Open and has played in the past nine Ryder Cups, second to Phil Mickelson’s 10 appearances in US Ryder Cup history.

“The Ryder Cup is in my DNA and I love everything about this event, the enormity of the stage, the passion, the competition, and the pressure,” Furyk said. “I look forward to being part of the team as we strive to win back the Ryder Cup on US soil.”

Stricker was a vice-captain under Tom Watson is a US loss last year at Gleneagles, Scotland. He was a member of the US task force assembled after that defeat to try and revamp the American Ryder Cup effort.

The 2016 edition takes place between 27 September and 2 October at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota.

Additional reporting from AFP

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Ryan Bailey

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