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Tiger Woods eyes Ryder Cup as comeback progresses

Team USA captain Davis Love III greets his vice-captain Tiger Woods on the 18th hole during the afternoon four-ball matches in the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska October 1, 2016. — USA TODAY Sports/Reuters picTeam USA captain Davis Love III greets his vice-captain Tiger Woods on the 18th hole during the afternoon four-ball matches in the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska October 1, 2016. — USA TODAY Sports/Reuters picLOS ANGELES, Feb 15 — Tiger Woods says he has a long way to go in his latest comeback, but the former world number one is already eyeing an ambitious Ryder Cup role.

Amid speculation that US team captain Jim Furyk could soon name Woods as his vice-captain for the biennial USA v Europe match play showdown in Paris in September, Woods was asked if he’d rather get that nod or — if his game has progressed enough — a captain’s pick to play.

“Why can’t I have both?” Woods said. “I like both.”

No one has held such a double role in more than half a century.

But Woods, speaking to reporters on Tuesday prior to the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club, said he’d already spoken to Furyk about it.

“He didn’t say anything,” Woods said, although Furyk told Golf Channel that he wouldn’t rule it out.

“I don’t think it’s impossible,” Furyk said.

Woods served as an assistant to captain Steve Stricker on the US Presidents Cup team that crushed the Internationals in New Jersey in September and also served as an assistant to captain Davis Love on the victorious US 2016 Ryder Cup team.

On Thursday he’ll tee it up for just the second time in 2018, saying he’s finally playing without pain after spinal fusion surgery last April.

Woods returned to the PGA Tour for the first time in a year with a tie for 23rd at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines three weeks ago.

He’s currently 103rd in the US Ryder Cup standings. The top eight in the standings in August will earn automatic qualification, leaving Furyk four captain’s picks.

“He’s played one event and looked pretty solid and now we’re talking Ryder Cup,” Furyk said. “It just shows you how good he’s been.”

Arnold Palmer was the last playing captain in the Ryder Cup, winning four points in the United States’ 29-3 victory over Britain in Atlanta in 1963. — AFP

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