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As widely expected Tiger Woods is back in the fold after being selected as one of Corey Pavin’s wildcard picks for the United States Ryder Cup team.
The World No. 1 was one of four picks for the clash at Celtic Manor on October 1-3 along with Stewart Cink, Zach Johnson and Rickie Fowler.
The quartet join automatic qualifiers Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, Hunter Mahan and cup newcomers Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Jeff Overton and Bubba Watson.
“I am very pleased to add these four to Team USA,” said Pavin, the 26th U.S. Ryder Cup Captain of his selections.
“I think our team is very good. I think these four players complement those eight very well. That was the goal of these four players. I’m very proud to have Team USA completed assembled now, and I’m looking forward to the matches in three weeks.”
Pavin said his selections “give me a lot of flexibility,” and was not concerned over any criticism made of his choices.
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“My job is to put together the team that I feel is the best team and to represent the United States in the Ryder Cup,” said Pavin. “What other people’s opinions are, I cannot control, and I’m not concerned about it. I am just trying to get the best guys together to go over there and win.”
Woods, who missed the 2008 match in Valhalla, Louisville following knee surgery, returns for his sixth cap, but has only once been on a winning side – in Boston in 1999.
The 14-time Major champion has not had a top 10 finish since his fourth place at the US Open in June but in this weekend’s Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston revealed glimpses of a return to form which is credited to his work with coach Sean Foley.
Woods has played in every Ryder Cup session in his five appearances winning 10, halving two and losing 13.
Stricker is expected to become his 12th partner. They had four wins out of four together in the Presidents Cup and were only once taken to the final green.
Meanwhile former Masters champion Johnson returns to the side after making his debut at The K Club in Ireland four years ago.
Cink receives a pick for the third time in four matches, but has not won a tournament since beating Tom Watson in the play-off for The Open last summer and has had only one top-10 finish in the last six months.
Fowler, at 21 the same age as Rory McIlroy, creates history by making it from the Walker Cup to the Ryder Cup in just one year.
He has not lifted a US Tour title yet, but has had three second places and is already up to 33rd in the world.
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