Team Europe vice-captain Padraig Harrington believes that Tiger Woods will make a return to Ryder Cup action in the future.
The former world number one is not involved in the action at Gleneagles, following a back injury that has limited him to nine events in 2014.
However, two time Open winner Harrington believes that Woods will be back in contention for the tournament at Hazeltine National Golf Club in two years time.
The 43-year-old, speaking to GiveMeSport, said: “Tiger has come back from downturns before and I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw him in the team in 2016.”
“The Ryder Cup is one of the most prestigious events you can play in and Tiger, like any other golfer, will want to be a part of the rivalry between the US and Europe.”
Woods has already shown his comeback ability
Tiger has proven before he is capable of a return from injury problems.
Having sustained an elbow injury at The Players Championship in 2013, Tiger recorded his worst professional score of +13 at that years US Open.
Following a sustained absence, the 76-time PGA tour title winner claimed his eighth title at the Bridgestone Invitational two weeks after his injury return.
Woods’ comeback abilities were also shown during a tough period in his life on and off the golf course.
Having taken a five-month break from the sport in 2010, the 14-time major winner suffered a loss of form as his ranking dropped to 58th in November 2011.
However, on March 25th 2013 Tiger completed his return to number one after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational, he held the spot for over a year.
Big role for Phil Mickelson
Having made his Ryder Cup debut in 1997 this is only the second tournament since that debut not to include one of golf's biggest names.
Harrington, who represented Europe six times winning on four occasions, believes his absence will lead to Phil Mickelson, competing for the tenth time, taking a bigger role in the team.
The golfer from Dublin said: “of course his [Woods] absence will change the team’s dynamic.”
“Phil Mickelson will be the most experienced player in the team room, the players like him and will listen to him so I think he will be an important player for the US team.”
Woods’ Ryder Cup record
Having played in seven Ryder Cup competitions between 1997 and 2012 Tiger hardly boasts the most impressive record.
He has played 33 matches, the fourth highest in America’s history, but has only won 14.5 points. He has won 13, lost 17 and halved three with a win percentage of less than 50% and has only been on the winning side once, back in 1999 at The Country Club.
The 11-time PGA Player of the Year was missing the last time USA won the tournament back in 2008 at Valhalla.
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