With Tiger Woods sidelined because of a back injury, it remains to be seen when the world No. 1 will return to action. If European captain Paul McGinley had his preference, though, he'd like to see Woods back on the course by the time the Ryder Cup takes place in Scotland.
"Tiger's good for golf, so the sooner he gets back playing, the better," McGinley told the Irish Independent. "Of course I'd like to see him play at Gleneagles, and it will be a better Ryder Cup with him there. Tiger's one of the world's greatest players and the Ryder Cup is golf's greatest event."
Woods is currently 44th on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, but will miss the Masters next week and said in a statement that he'll be "forced to miss several upcoming tournaments" as he recovers from surgery. With this latest injury setback, he will likely need to rely on one of the three captain's picks at Tom Watson's disposal in order to make the U.S. squad in September.
Watson spoke about Woods' potential place on the team last month at the Toshiba Classic, days after the 38-year-old hobbled through the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
"Then you have the fact that Tiger has not played well and is injured. There's a story in itself," Watson said on March 13. "I want Tiger to be on the team in the worst way, I just hope he's healthy enough to be able to play. It's really early yet, way too early to tell.”
Woods has missed the Ryder Cup just once during his professional career, in 2008 following surgery to repair a broken leg and torn ACL. That year, the U.S. won at Valhalla by a 16-11 margin - the only American victory since 2000.
Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter tweeted Wednesday that he expects to face an American squad that includes Woods when the matches are held Sept. 26-28: