US Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker on Wednesday said he has spoken to Tiger Woods about being an assistant captain in September.
Woods is recovering from severe leg injuries suffered in a February car crash, and Stricker said the 15-time Major winner’s Ryder Cup involvement is uncertain.
‘He’s really good at being an assistant and I’d love to have him be there, if it’s at all possible,’ Stricker said on the eve of the PGA Championship in Kiawah Island.
‘As an assistant captain, he’s all in with everybody and the players love it. They love being around him and he adds a tremendous amount when he’s there.’
The Ryder Cup, postponed from last year due to Covid-19, will be staged 24-26 September at Whistling Straits with holders Europe seeking an eighth victory in 10 meetings.
Stricker said Woods told him he would serve at least in an advisory role.
Stricker quoted Woods as saying: ‘I don’t know if I can be there or not but you know I’m here for you all the way up to the Ryder Cup.’
Stricker added: ‘That shows his level of commitment to me, to the team, and his desire to be there if he can be.’
Woods served as a playing captain of the 2019 US Presidents Cup team that beat the Internationals 16-14 at Melbourne and served as a Ryder Cup assistant captain in 2016. He was to have been an assistant in 2018 until he was chosen to play as a captain’s pick.
‘He has always been, on the teams I’ve been around, very into the whole team and the process,’ Stricker said. ‘As assistant captain, it’s almost like he’s taken it up a notch.
‘He can worry about the whole team, where when he’s a player, he’s just thinking about getting his own game ready so he can get those blinders on a little bit.’
Woods is recovering at home in Florida following his one-car accident three months ago in California.
‘I’ve talked to him. I don’t know if we are there yet to commit to him being there,’ Stricker said. ‘He has still got a lot going on. His spirit is great, though.
‘We were on a Zoom call with him just this past week and he seems like he’s in a better place.
‘He’s still got some ways to go. But, yeah, I’d love to have him there. Who wouldn’t?’
Reigning US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau said he would welcome Woods as an assistant captain after playing on his Presidents Cup squad.
‘I hope he can definitely be a part of the Ryder Cup,’ he said. ‘It would be an honour to have him a part of that team.’
Stricker served as captain of the triumphant 2017 US Presidents Cup team.
‘The guys really respect him and he did a great job as a captain but he was an assistant captain of mine in 2017 of the Presidents Cup and he was unbelievable,’ Stricker said.
‘He would do anything for you and he’s totally, totally vested in the situation and the process and almost to the point of he’s on it early and so much, it’s like, dude, we’ve still got months to go yet.’