Ryder Cup: Tom Watson expects Tiger Woods to put USA team first

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods' last major title was the US Open in 2008

United States' captain Tom Watson expects Tiger Woods to give an "honest" assessment of his fitness to play in September's Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

Woods, 38, needs to rely on a wildcard spot after an injury-ravaged season.

The 14-time major winner injured his back in last week's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and missed the cut at this weekend's US PGA Championship.

"The answer can only come from Tiger. I am confident he will give us an honest answer," Watson said.

United States - the nine Ryder Cup qualifiers
Bubba Watson6,930.038
Rickie Fowler6,733.253
Jim Furyk6,707.694
Jimmy Walker6,111.405
Phil Mickelson5,510.338
Matt Kuchar5,114.665
Jordan Spieth4,835.827
Patrick Reed3,650.227
Zach Johnson3,568.694

Woods had surgery on his back in March and was sidelined for three months, but reported no pain when he returned to action in June.

He finished level 69th at the Open in July, his worst showing in that event as a professional, and shot a pair of three-over-par 74s at the US PGA at Valhalla to miss the cut for only the fourth time in his career in a major championship.

Watson says he will talk to Woods in the next three weeks before he selects his three wildcard picks on 3 September.

"The biggest question is his health and right next to that it is how is he playing," he said.

"Does his back allow him to make the type of swing he needs to get back into form?"

The US PGA was the final tournament to count towards qualification for the US Ryder Cup side, and Woods' failure at Valhalla leaves him 70th in the United Ryder Cup team standings,external-link 61 places off a qualifying berth.

Europe will go into the tournament in Perthshire, Scotland, which takes place between 23-28 September, as the defending champions.

Jose Maria Olazabal's team beat the United States 14.5-13.5 at the Medinah Country Club in Illinois in 2012.

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