LONDON (Reuters) - Former world number one Tiger Woods expects to be challenging for a place on the U.S. team for next year’s Ryder Cup, according to skipper Davis Love III.
In an interview with the BBC, Love said he was in regular contact with Woods and was not ruling him out, despite his current struggles with fitness and form.
Woods, who had back surgery last year, has played only two PGA Tour events this season and said last month he would not return until he felt his game was “tournament-ready”.
“He’s expecting to make the team,” Love told BBC Radio. “He and I keep in touch a lot more than we have. He still has a good attitude and is working hard.”
“I spoke to a few people who tell me he’s working very hard and is eager to get back. I suppose he has a plan for The Masters - we’re hoping to see him back soon.”
Fourteen-times major champion Woods, now ranked 96th in the world, has not ruled out playing at next month’s Masters at Augusta where he has won four times.
Love said Woods’ first target would be this year’s Presidents Cup, between a U.S. team and an international selection, in October.
“He is anxious about getting back to playing so he can get some points for that, then he can think about Ryder Cup,” Love said. “I wouldn’t count him out just yet.”
Woods has played in seven Ryder Cups, but missed last year’s event in Gleneagles because of injury.
Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty