U.S. Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples has confirmed that Tiger Woods will be a captain’s pick for this year’s matches, the Associated Press has reported.
Couples had all but confirmed Woods would be a member of his team that will travel to Australia in November but suggested last week that he needed to add events to his post-Tour Championship schedule to land one of the two captain’s picks.
“I’ve told him that he’s going to be on the team,” Couples said from this week’s Champions Tour stop in Washington. “There is no reason for me to wait till Sept. 26 to pick Tiger. He’s the best player in the world forever.”
Couples, initially unaware that Woods had not qualified for this week’s Barclays, the first of four FedEx Cup playoff events, told him by text message to find another tournament to play. Woods’ next scheduled appearance is not until the Australian Open, the week before the matches, although he said on his website on Monday that he “might add” to his schedule.
“He has responded to that. I’m pretty sure you’ll see him one more time,” Couples said. “That’s enough for me. I know the last thing he wants to do is embarrass himself. I think he’ll be ready to play. Does that mean he’s going to go out and win every point? No, I don’t expect that. But I expect him to be sharp and ready to play. I would be shocked if he’s not.”
The next Tour event Woods could play is the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas (Sept. 29-Oct.2), the site of his first Tour victory in 1996. He could also play the Frys.com Open in California (Oct. 6-9), McGladrey Classic at Sea Island (Ga.) Resort Oct. 13-16 or Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic (Oct. 20-23), which he’s won twice.
The top 10 on the U.S. Presidents Cup points list through the BMW Championship automatically qualify for the team and Couples announces his picks on Sept. 26, the Monday after the Tour Championship. Woods is currently 28th on the points list and guaranteed to fall before the deadline.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.