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Tom Watson wants Tiger Woods on his Ryder Cup team if 'he's healthy and playing well'

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Will Tiger Woods be representing the U.S. at Gleneagles? — Getty Images

One of the biggest questions following Tiger Woods around isn't just about his major championship schedule this season, but the potential for Woods to make the 2014 Ryder Cup team.

As the Europeans continue to put together a stacked squad, if qualifications ended today both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson would miss out on automatically qualifying, which brings up some tough questions for captain Tom Watson, who spoke about this on Tuesday during a press conference at the Greenbrier Classic.

"I'm delighted to see Tiger back," Watson said. "I hope he's healthy and not in pain. As I've said, I want him on the Ryder Cup team if he's healthy and playing well."

Woods is currently ranked 69th in Ryder Cup points, and with only the top nine players automatically earning a spot on the team, it looks like Watson will have to pick Tiger if he actually wants him on the team.

With Europe dominating this event the last few years, winning the last two Ryder Cups and five of the last six, it seems that Woods would be a benefit for this team both with his presence and his veteran leadership, but as Watson said, Tiger won't just make the team because he's swinging a golf club with no pain.

That said, I don't see how you can ever leave Woods off a team event like this if he's playing at even a B-level on the PGA Tour. It will take Tiger most of July to figure out his game and get back to shooting solid rounds from time to time, but Ryder Cup week doesn't start at Gleneagles until September 23, and I expect Watson will roll with Tiger when it's time for him to make those tough selections for his captain's picks.

 

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