Ahead of the Sony Open in Hawaii, US captain Johnson said he would not discount Woods’ selection to compete in the tournament if the 47-year-old did not automatically qualify.
“I would only consider having him in the team if he feels – if he puts in some numbers and some scores, No. 1, where he is showing signs of being competitive,” Johnson said at a media conference on Wednesday.
“And then No. 2, the discussion will be with other people who are part of the team, and especially him. If there’s anything I believe in Tiger Woods, it’s that he’s so invested in this team and the Cup coming up. So invested. I can’t say enough about it,” Johnson added.
“And then I think you will do anything for the betterment of the team. I assumed he would say… I don’t like basing assumptions… but I’m sure he would say, ‘Yes, I can play, or no, I can’t.’”
Last year, Johnson confirmed Woods will be part of the US Ryder Cup “in some capacity”, adding that Woods had made it a “priority”.
“Given who he is and what he is about, I can’t tell you right now: I don’t know if he will be here next year, but he will be part of this team in some capacity,” Johnson said.
However, Woods’ health could complicate this, Johnson acknowledged.
“He’s been going through some things lately that have been difficult, whether it’s a trip or what have you,” said the US Ryder Cup captain.
Injuries have hampered Woods’ career recently, having had less game time since he seriously injured his leg in a car crash in February 2021.
The 47-year-old withdrew from the Hero World Challenge in December citing a sore leg, and at various points appeared to have difficulty moving during the seventh edition of The Match that month.
“I think something realistic is to play a one day tour, never full time, never again, but pick and choose, like Mr. (Ben) Hogan did,” Woods told Golf Digest afterwards. accident in 2021.
“Pick and choose a few events a year and you play with it. You train around it, and you prepare yourself for it. And you play. I think that’s how I should play it from now on.
“It is an unfortunate reality, but it is my reality. And I understand it, and I accept it.”
A biennial competition that alternates between Europe and the US, the Ryder Cup is played in Italy for the first time later this year – September 25 to October 1 – at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, which is 10 miles from the center of Rome.
Team USA reclaimed the Ryder Cup in 2021 after a historically dominant showing over Europe in Whistling Straits.