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Stricker: Assistant Tiger wants 'back in the mix'

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OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. – Although he’s played just a single PGA Tour event the last two seasons, Tiger Woods has taken on a new role as a U.S. team leader.

Woods served as a vice captain to Davis Love III last year at the Ryder Cup and will be one of Steve Stricker’s assistants next month at the Presidents Cup.

“It will be good to have him there. Guys are looking forward to it and I know he’s looking forward to it as well,” Stricker said on Thursday at The Northern Trust. “He wants to get back in the mix, and I know he’s itching to get back out here, and this will be a first step for him.”

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Although Woods’ influence on the U.S. team has been beneficial, his attendance at Liberty National next month wasn’t assured following a fourth back surgery in April that has kept him from playing on the PGA Tour since January.

“I talked to him a few times, just to make sure he’s good and still coming [to the Presidents Cup],” Stricker said. “A couple of months ago, he wasn’t feeling well enough to come, now, he is, he said.”