Golf

Paul Azinger would not pick Tiger Woods for Ryder Cup

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Former American Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger feels that Tiger Woods shouldn't play in next month's Ryder Cup.

Woods failed the make the cut at the US PGA Championship as he appears to continue to struggle from a back injury that required surgery in March.

Injury doubt

He withdrew during the WGC Bridgestone Invitational a week before the US PGA Championship but decided he was fit enough for the final major of the season.

However, the 14 time major winner shot two consecutive three over par 74's during the final major of the season and looked far from fit.

Wild Card

It means that Woods has finished well outside the nine automatic Ryder Cup qualification places and is now relying on being one of the three wildcard picks from team captain Tom Watson. 

But Azinger is adamant that Woods shouldn't be picked for September's event at Gleneagles.

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"He has gone from the artist to the engineer," Azinger told BBC.

"It is difficult to watch a Vincent Van Gogh paint by numbers. We want to see Tiger come back and get all of this stuff out of his head."

"I don't see how you can take an injured player who's not playing well."

Woods had surgery on his back in March and missed three months of golf but revealed he felt no pain when he returned to the course in June. However, he finished 69th at the Open Championship in July, his worst performance in the event as a professional and his missed cut at the US PGA Championship represented only the fourth missed cut in his career in major championships.

Woods should withdraw

Azinger was team captain when he led USA to their last Ryder Cup truimph, at Valhalla in 2008, and believes that Woods should take the decision out of Watson's hands and declare himself unfit to participate.

"I am guessing he will call [American Ryder Cup captain] Tom Watson and beg out of this and say 'I am not ready', make Tom's decision easier," he said.

Woods admitted that his troublesome back did affect his performance during the US PGA Championship but risked making his injury worse by continuing revealing that it "probably not a good idea."

"It was sore," he said. "It went out on me on the range.

"When I was warming up I hit a four iron and felt the same thing I had last week. It's a matter of getting through it."

The four-time US PGA champion has played in seven Ryder Cups but is now hoping he will become one of the three wild card picks from Watson.

But after an injury ravaged season and the failure to rekindle any kind of form, it seems increasingly unlikely that Watson will decide to pick Woods as a wildcard.

The US PGA was the last tournament that counted towards qualification for the US Ryder Cup side and Woods' disappointing two days leaves him in 70th position, a massive 61 places off a qualifying berth.

In Watson's hands

The fate of Woods is now is Watson's hands who will have to decided if he is fit enough and whether he can find some form.

But Watson has had to deal with some bad news regarding his players in recent weeks with Dustin Johnson announcing he was taking a break from golf and Matt Kuchar pulling out of the US PGA Championship with a bad back. Defending champion Jason Dufner also withdrew during his first first at Valhalla with a bad neck.

Woods first competed in the Ryder Cup in 1997 but his involvement in this year's event is very much in doubt.

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Topics:
Ryder Cup
Golf
Tiger Woods

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