Dave Shedloski watched Tiger Woods Sunday at Hoylake and while Woods completed his first full tournament since March, the 6-over 294 aggregate total left Woods needing to play well in his next to events just to make the FedExCup playoffs. The Ryder Cup?
But Watson was clear that Woods is not an "automatic pick." He repeated the assertion that Woods would have to be healthy and playing well. Watson, who closed with a 68, was not aware that Woods was struggling a few groups behind him. "Well that isn't good," Watson said when told that Woods was, at the time, eight shots higher on the day than the 64-year-old Watson.
"He's not in the mix. He needed to get in the mix to get some points, to get some money and get in the FedExCup," Watson said. "That was what I was hoping he was doing this week."
Mark Tallentire has more in The Guardian on Tiger's Ryder Cup prospects, Watson's comments about Mickelson and Woods' assertion that his situation is similar to when Corey Pavin picked him for Celtic Manor.
Watson has to submit his three names in the first week of September and, with the 2013 Open champion Phil Mickelson also struggling in the rankings, the USA captain will face an anxious few weeks either side of the US PGA Championship.
“Everybody is thinking that I’m going to pick them automatically,” he added. “I can assure you that I’m not going to pick them automatically. I said about Tiger that I’ll pick him if he’s playing well and he’s in good health. And Phil is the same way. If he’s playing well, how can you not pick those two?”
After his final round 68, the 64-year-old Watson moved to 210th in FedExCup points while Woods sits at 214th.
**Ian O'Connor of ESPN.com makes a case for why Tiger will win more majors and how this weekend proves as much:
But in the end, Tiger Woods is going to be just fine. He will win again. He will win majors again too.
Three men in their 40s -- Darren Clarke, Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson -- won the three Open Championships before this one, and Watson was a single par from the fairway away from winning his sixth in 2009 at age 59.
Golf allows its stars to age gracefully. Golf doesn't let Willie Mays stumble in the outfield grass.