Tiger Woods eyed for Ryder Cup job as PGA's best seek his advice

Tiger Woods (L) provided advice for Justin Thomas (R) recently on how to play the Ocean Course at the 2021 PGA Championship this week in Kiawah Island, S.C. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Tiger Woods (L) provided advice for Justin Thomas (R) recently on how to play the Ocean Course at the 2021 PGA Championship this week in Kiawah Island, S.C. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

May 20 (UPI) -- Several of the world's best golfers continue to communicate with Tiger Woods as they prepare for tournaments, while the U.S. Ryder Cup captain eyes the 15-time major champion for a role at the 2021 event.

Stricker spoke Wednesday about his desire to add Woods to the team as a vice captain, which would be a non-playing role.


The tournament, which is held every two years, is planned for Sept. 21 to 26 at Whistling Straits Golf Course in Sheboygan, Wis.

Woods continues to recover at home in Jupiter Island, Fla., from leg injuries he sustained in a Feb. 23 car accident. His last golf competition was the 2020 Masters in November.

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Because of limited insight into Woods' injuries and recovery, other golfers often provide the most frequent updates about him.

"I've talked to him," Stricker told reporters Wednesday. "I don't know if we are there yet to commit to him being [at the Ryder Cup]. He still has a lot going on. His spirits are great as of late. We were on a Zoom call with him last week.


"He seems like he's in a better place, but still has some ways to go."

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Stricker and several other golfers spoke about Woods in his previous role as a vice captain for the 2016 Ryder Cup team and as a captain for the U.S. team in the 2019 Presidents Cup. Woods was an assistant at the 2017 Presidents Cup.

"I'd love to have him there. Who wouldn't?" Stricker said. "The guys really respect him, and he did a great job."

Stricker said Woods told him he could count on him for advice leading up to the Ryder Cup.

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"He said, 'Lean on me as much as you want. I don't know if I can be there or not, but I'm here for you all the way up to the Ryder Cup.' That shows his level of commitment to me and the team and his desire to be there if he can be."

Whistling Straits does not permit golf carts, and that would be a major challenge for Woods if he were to attend the event. For now, Woods continues to update current members of the PGA Tour field and his friends on his status, while offering tips.

"I have been talking to him as a friend and seeing how he is doing about what he is doing living life with his kids and dog," World No. 5 Bryson DeChambeau told reporters Wednesday. "I really care about his personal life more than his golf.


"If his personal life is well, I think golf will follow. He has been the greatest influence in my life. I hope he can be a part of the Ryder Cup. It would be an honor.

Justin Thomas, one of the favorites to win this weekend at the PGA Championship in Kiawah Island, S.C., said he asked the four-time PGA Championship winner for insights into the 7,876 yard-course -- the longest one in the history of major tournaments.

"He would be the first to say he hasn't played it that well," Thomas told reporters Tuesday. "He wouldn't say this is the perfect or right way to play. ... He pretty much hit the nail on the head [and said] it's long, it has a lot of crosswinds, and you need to have a short game."

PGA Championship favorite Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler are among other golfers who remain in touch with Woods. Fowler watched the first round of the 2021 Masters Tournament with Woods on April 8 at his home in Jupiter Island.

The 2021 PGA Championship teed off Thursday and runs through Sunday at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island. The field features 156-players, with the Top 70 scores eligible for Saturday's third-round. The second major of the season airs on ESPN and CBS.


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