Rusty Woods confident over Ryder Cup selection

Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:32am EDT
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By Martyn Herman

HOYLAKE England (Reuters) - Tiger Woods believes he justifies a place in the United States Ryder Cup team despite missing the year's first two majors through injury and finishing dismally at the British Open on Sunday.

The 14-times major champion is well outside the automatic nine places for the match against holders Europe at Gleneagles in September and may require one of captain Tom Watson's three wildcard selections.

Usually it would be unthinkable that the 38-year-old's place in the biennial match would be in doubt.

However, after back surgery in March he managed only two competitive rounds in the build-up to this week's Open at Hoylake and apart from a flurry of back nine birdies on Thursday when he carded a three-under-par 69, he has looked rusty.

Woods will need to show a marked improvement over the coming weeks to ensure Watson gives him the go-ahead to play in an eighth Ryder Cup match.

Watson hinted this week that the former world number one would need to qualify for next month's FedExCup playoff series in order to secure a place.

"I'd like to win the next two tournaments I'm in. That should take care of that," said Woods whose final three rounds at Royal Liverpool were littered with wild tee shots and uncharacteristic mistakes around the greens.

The American, who carded a fourth-round 75 on Sunday for a six-over total of 294, a figure so far exceeded by only three other players, was adamant that he could be a vital cog in Watson's team.   Continued...

Tiger Woods of the U.S. watches his tee shot on the fifth hole during the final round of the British Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, northern England July 20, 2014.      REUTERS/Phil Noble