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Ryder Cup 2014: Tiger Woods confident of being selected
Tiger Woods believes he should be given a spot in the United States Ryder Cup team despite a hefty injury lay-off and below par showing at The Open Championship.
Woods, a 14-time major winner, finished 69th at Royal Liverpool and 23 shots behind eventual winner Rory McIlroy. That means he’s unlikely to earn automatic qualification for September’s match against reigning holders Europe when the two square-off at Gleneagles.
And when asked if US captain Tom Watson should pick him as one of three wildcards, Woods replied: "I would say yes."
Tiger was forced to take time off in March following back surgery and missed the year’s first two majors – managing only two competitive rounds in the build-up to The Open at Hoylake – where the 38-year-old won in 2006.
Earlier in the week Watson made hints to the effect that Woods would need to qualify for next month’s FedExCup play-off series in order to be given a place in the team.
And it’s grim reading, with Woods sitting 72nd in the US Ryder Cup standings before The Open commenced, with only the top nine golfers qualifying automatically. Woods was 212th on the FedExCup points list, with only the top 125 players qualifying for the four-man series.
"I'd like to win the next two tournaments I'm in. That should take care of it," Woods told BBC Sport. "But I got picked by Corey [Pavin] when we played in Wales in 2010. I was coming off an injury there, with my Achilles, and I sat out most of the summer. And I felt like I was able to contribute to the team.
"He [Watson] is 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."
Although Woods is still a way from his best, there were promising signs the American’s sharpness is returning at The Open. He also looked fitter than he had in a long while, which should also help give him confidence going forward in what is likely to be one of the most important couple of months in his career for a long time.
"The fact I was able to play a few weeks ahead of time, and I'm only getting stronger and faster, that's great," said Woods, who has played in seven Ryder Cups but won only once.
"I've got more game time under my belt. Obviously there's a lot of things I need to work on but I haven't been able to work on a lot."
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