World number one golfer Tiger Woods will try to help the United States defend the Ryder Cup against Europe next month after being named Tuesday as one of the four captain's picks to the 12-man team.
Although he did not qualify as one of the top eight automatic picks, U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Corey Pavin announced the expected decision to include Woods on the team.
Tiger Woods has not won a tournament this year and he has barely held on to his top ranking. He leads all active U.S. players with 71 tour victories and he has been playing well as of late.
This will be the sixth Ryder Cup team for Woods, but the first one in which he needed to be picked. Woods had finished atop the standings every time since his first team in 1997.
He says he believes he has earned his spot.
"If you go back a couple months ago, I was trying to make the team on points, and it wasn't until after the PGA where I didn't, and I felt like my game was turning around then," said Tiger Woods. "And my last two events, I've played, I think I've played, much better. And here we are."
Ryder Cup Captain Corey Pavin says he did not want to overthink his picks, but says he wanted to wait until the deadline, consulting his assistants and the other eight team members before announcing his decision.
"You know Tiger is one of 12 guys on the team, and everyone is just as important as another player," said Corey Pavin. "The objective here is to have 12 players that make up Team USA who are going to go out there and have one goal in mind, and that's to try to win the Ryder Cup over in Wales."
Pavin's surprise pick was 21-year-old Ricky Fowler. He is the first-ever PGA Tour rookie player to be included on a U.S. Ryder Cup team. He has three runner-up finishes in his 11 months as a pro. Pavin's other two picks were former major champions Zach Johnson and Stewart Cink.
The eight Americans who automatically qualified for the Ryder Cup team on points after last month's PGA Championship are Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan, Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Matt Kuchar, Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson and Jeff Overton.
The U.S. team will take on Europe in the prestigious biennial event on October 1-3 at the Celtic Manor in Wales.