Tiger must qualify for FedEx, says Ryder Cup skipper Watson

Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:55pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

HOYLAKE England (Reuters) - United States captain Tom Watson has given a strong hint that Tiger Woods must qualify for next month's FedExCup playoff series in order to secure a place in his team for the Ryder Cup in September.

Former world number one Woods is this week making only his second competitive outing since undergoing back surgery in March.

The 14-times major champion is outside the automatic nine places for the Ryder Cup match against holders Europe at Gleneagles and looks like he may have to rely on being one of the captain's three wildcard selections.

"If he's playing well and he's healthy I'll pick him," Watson told reporters at the British Open on Monday.

"But then the caveat is if he doesn't get into the FedExCup, what to do then? That's the question I can't answer right now."

Woods is a lowly 72nd on the Ryder Cup points list and needs to start stringing together some good results, starting at Hoylake this week.

"I could ask Tiger, 'how are you feeling?, are you hitting it well?," said the 64-year-old Watson. "But that doesn't mean anything really.

"The performance means something. I'll be watching Tiger and I want him on the team.   Continued...

U.S. golfer Tom Watson hits his tee shot on the second hole during the first round of the 2014 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia April 10, 2014.  REUTERS/Jim Young