Friday, May 24, 2024

Tiger Woods to be Team USA’s next Ryder Cup captain? Woods ‘in talks’ over future captaincy role

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Team USA are yet to reveal their captain for the next Ryder Cup, live on Sky Sports, with Tiger Woods “in talks” this week about the possibility of succeeding Zach Johnson.

The next Ryder Cup takes place at Bethpage Black in September 2025, where Luke Donald aims to lead Europe to back-to-back victories after being retained in the role.

Donald was confirmed in November as the first European since Bernhard Gallacher to captain in successive editions of the biennial event, with the former world No 1 already locking in two of his backroom team from last year’s impressive 16.5-11.5 success in Rome.

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Luke Donald discusses his motivations for leading Team Europe into a second successive Ryder Cup

Thomas Bjorn and Edoardo Molinari keep their positions as vice-captains, whereas Team USA – with less than 18 months to go until the event – have still not announced who will serve as captain for the next edition in New York.

Woods has been heavily linked as a future Ryder Cup captain, having made eight appearances for Team USA and also previously been a vice-captain at Hazeltine in 2016, with the 48-year-old not playing down rumours during his pre-tournament press conference at The Masters last week.

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Tiger Woods made Ryder Cup appearances for Team USA in 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2012 and 2018

When asked what his position is regarding Ryder Cup captaincy, Woods told reporters – while smiling – ahead of making a 24th consecutive cut at Augusta National: “We’re still talking about it.

“It’s something that Seth [Waugh, chief executive of the PGA of America] and I are going to sit back and talk about it after this event [The Masters].

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Tiger Woods claims he’s targeting playing the three remaining majors this year but admits that his body will need to cooperate in order to make that a reality.

“I said I’m going to be busy for a couple weeks, so let me focus on getting through this week and hopefully getting another Green Jacket, and then we can sit back and talk about it next week.”

Woods has previously served as playing captain for Team USA during the 2019 Presidents Cup, the last of his nine appearances in that event, plus acted as a vice-captain to Steve Stricker in their 2017 victory over the International Team.

Stewart Cink served as a Ryder Cup vice-captain last year and has previously expressed his desire to be a USA captain, although said in December “it’s up to him” – referencing Woods – whether he would have a chance to take the role.

2018 Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk leads the Presidents Cup side this September, while Steve Stricker and Davis Love III have both captained Team USA in both team competitions. No date has yet been confirmed for when the PGA of America will announce Johnson’s successor.

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Take a look at the best fancy dress from the Ryder Cup weekend with dinosaurs, astronauts, hot dogs and more!

Has golf’s divide delayed Ryder Cup announcement?

The possibility of Woods being the next Team USA captain appears more likely than when he brushed off comments regarding the role in November, when he said: “There’s too much at stake with our PGA Tour to think about a Ryder Cup.

“We have to get this done and we have to be focused on this right now. The players and everyone involved understands that this is an issue we need to focus on.”

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Tiger Woods said earlier this year they are exploring pathways back for players who left the PGA Tour for LIV Golf on a “daily basis”.

Woods was referencing his involvement in the ongoing talks between the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, who bankroll LIV Golf, with the former world No 1 one of the six player-directors who met with PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan in the Bahamas last month.

“I don’t know if we’re closer, but certainly we’re headed in the right direction,” Woods said after a final-round 77 at The Masters on Sunday, leaving him last of the 60 players who made the cut.

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Rory McIlroy is hoping that the Ryder Cup rules surrounding LIV Golf players’ eligibility will be amended so Jon Rahm can take part in 2025.

“That was a very positive meeting, and I think both sides came away from the meeting feeling positive.”

Sky Sports will continue to be the home of the Ryder Cup, with all three days of the 2025 exclusively live next September. Watch the PGA Tour and every major live on Sky Sports Golf in 2024 or stream with NOW.

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