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Ryder Cup 2018: Hungry Tiger lands wildcard along with old rival Phil

 

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Big name: Tiger Woods has been named in US Ryder Cup team

Big name: Tiger Woods has been named in US Ryder Cup team

Big name: Tiger Woods has been named in US Ryder Cup team

Tiger Woods has said it is "beyond special" for him to make his Ryder Cup return after being named as one of Jim Furyk's three wildcard picks for the event at Le Golf National in Paris at the end of the month.

Woods has been one of the form golfers of the year and, while he hasn't won since his return, his meteoric rise up the world rankings since his comeback from injury has deservedly seen him named in the team.

"I wanted to be part of every team every year, and I served as a vice captain a couple of years ago and that was a great experience," Woods said.

"But this year, to have the honour of being able to play again is beyond special."

Also joining him are the in-form Bryson DeChambeau and Ryder Cup veteran Phil Mickelson.

DeChambeau was widely expected to be named after becoming just the fifth player to win in successive FedEx Cup play-off events after his victory at the Dell Technologies Championship, and he currently sits top of the FedEx Cup rankings too, while Mickelson brings considerable experience.

But the main talking point is Woods, who will step down as one of Furyk's vice captains to concentrate on his game at the event. The 42-year old competed in every Ryder Cup from 1997 to 2006, and last appeared at Medinah in 2012.

But the former World No.1, who has risen to 26th in the world, has stunned pundits and fans alike with his incredible comeback that has seen him record four top-five finishes, with a tied-second at the PGA Championship and a tied-sixth at The Open.

In Woods' absence, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar and David Duval have all been named as vice-captains of the USA team.

Meanwhile, Thomas Bjorn faces the first tough decision of his captaincy as he prepares to name his four wild cards, with veteran Spaniard Sergio Garcia set to gain one of them.

Europe skipper Bjorn, concerned over the number of rookies in his team, wants to add experience, with Garcia fitting the bill despite a lack of recent form.

Three other experienced campaigners in Ian Poulter, Henrik Stenson and Paul Casey all failed to qualify automatically, as did the likes of Thomas Pieters, Matt Fitzpatrick and Rafa Cabrera Bello, who made their debuts in the defeat at Hazeltine in 2016.

Also in the frame are Scotland's Russell Knox and the English pair of Matt Wallace and Eddie Pepperell, with Wallace pushing his claims by winning for the third time in 15 starts -in front of Bjorn - in the Made in Denmark event on Sunday.

Belfast Telegraph


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