Woods confident he is worthy of a Ryder Cup spot

CUP HOPES: Tiger Woods

CUP HOPES: Tiger Woods

First published in Sport

TIGER WOODS believes he should be at this year’s Ryder Cup – but accepts he may have to do more to convince United States captain Tom Watson.

Former world number one Woods is on the comeback trail after a threemonth lay-off following a back operation.

His appearance at the Open was just his second since undergoing surgery in March.

After playing all four rounds at Royal Liverpool, Woods appears to have proved his fitness but his form is a different matter.

The 14-time major winner had mixed fortunes, finishing six over after a three-under-par firstround 69.

Having fallen well down the standings for automatic Gleneagles selection during his absence, he may be relying on being named as one of Watson’s wildcard picks for the September match.

Asked if he should be selected, Woods said: “I would say yes, but that’s my position, my take on it.

“He’s the captain, obviously it’s his decision. He’s going to field the best 12 players that he thinks will win the cup back, and I hope I’m on that team.”

Woods has been a wildcard pick before, in 2010 when Corey Pavin added him to his side for the competition at Celtic Manor.

The 38-year-old said: “I got picked by Corey back in whenever it was when we played in Wales.

“I was coming off an injury as well there with my Achilles, and I sat out for most of the summer.

“I felt like I was able to contribute to the team and that’s all you want as a pick, you want someone who can contribute to the team, whether it’s in support or it’s in play.

“I did it then and hopefully I can actually earn my way on to this team.”

Woods’ final round at Hoylake included a double- bogey six at the seventh hole and four other bogeys.

Assessing his week, he said: “I got four rounds in, unfortunately I didn’t play very well today.

“It was a little different on the first day, obviously, but I just made too many mistakes. I had two triples (bogeys), two doubles.

Just way too many mistakes.

“But the fact I was able to play a few weeks ahead of time, and I’m only getting stronger and faster, is great.”

Woods, a triple Open champion, finished five strokes behind 64-yearold five-time winner Watson, who closed with an impressive 68.

Watson has said he will pick Woods for Gleneagles if form and fitness warrants it, but will make no guarantees if he fails to make the play-offs for the FedExCup.

Watson had hoped to speak to Woods during their week at the Open but that has not occurred.

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