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Woods will be in my thoughts for Ryder Cup, says US skipper Furyk

By Phil Casey

New American Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk says superstar Tiger Woods is in the mix to be part of his side taking on Europe in Paris next year.

The PGA of America announced that the 46-year-old, a veteran of nine playing appearances, will succeed Davis Love, who led the US to victory at Hazeltine last October against Darren Clarke's Europe.

Fred Couples was also a contender but Furyk, a vice-captain to Love last year, was the preferred choice of the US Ryder Cup committee.

As he looks ahead to the challenge of retaining the Ryder Cup against Thomas Bjorn's men, Furyk is open to Woods making a playing comeback.

"It's possible, absolutely. I'm interested to see where his health is, how his game is. I was amazed at how many birdies he made at his home event in the Bahamas, I think he led the field in birdies," said Furyk.

"I'm excited for him to want to be back playing, to have that hunger to be playing, I know he's working hard. It was great to see him in the team room at Hazeltine, he really was a great resource."

Furyk, the 2003 US Open champion, offers continuity and boasts plenty of Ryder Cup experience. His nine appearances came in succession from 1997-2014 and he was seriously considered for a wildcard by Love at Hazeltine.

Furyk was ultimately overlooked for a playing role but remained on the team as one of Love's assistants as the US won for the first time since 2008.

He said: "This is such an honour. I'm actually a little overwhelmed. It's no secret, it's been my favourite event my entire career. In my opinion the Ryder Cup embodies everything that is special about golf.

"It has the team work, the camaraderie, the competition, the passion, it brings fans together from worldwide. I just get chills thinking about all the events I've been able to participate in."

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