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Ryder Cup - Golf: Will Tiger Woods be a valuable Team USA addition?

Tiger Woods is set for a non-playing role at Ryder Cup 2023 after USA captain Zach Johnson confirmed his compatriot would be involved "in some capacity".

Johnson has been entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring the USA successfully defend the Ryder Cup they won in record-breaking fashion at Whistling Straits last year.

The American side thrashed Europe 19-9 to gain revenge for the 17.5-10.5 defeat at Le Golf National in 2018, and the holders are on course to field another strong-looking team, spearheaded by the likes of Scottie Scheffler, Justin Thomas and Patrick Cantlay.

Ahead of the 2023 edition at Marco Simone Golf Club, Steve Stricker has already been confirmed as a vice-captain, while European skipper Luke Donald has Thomas Bjorn and Edoardo Molinari in his backroom team so far.

What:

Ryder Cup 2023

Where:

Marco Simone Golf Club, Rome, Italy

When:

29th September 2023 - 1st October 2023

How to watch:

Sky Sports and bet365's Live Golf Tracker

Odds:

USA 8/15, Europe 15/8, Tie 12/1

Woods set for involvement

If the USA were not strong enough on the course, it now appears they will have 15-time Major champion Woods involved in a non-playing capacity following the recent comments from Johnson at a press conference.

Johnson said: "Given who he (Woods) is and what he's all about, I can tell you right now, I don't know if he'll be here next year, but he'll be a part of this team in some capacity. He already is, practically.

"I can't put this mildly - he loves the Ryder Cup. He has made it a priority of his and certainly of Team USA. He wants to be a part of it as best he can."

Woods has been an inspiration to several players since he burst onto the scene and the opportunity for the USA's 12-man team, whoever may be in it, to work with the Californian and learn from him will be something many of their stars would relish.

In terms of captaincy, the five-time Masters winner was a vice-skipper for the 2016 Ryder Cup, an event the US triumphed 17-11 in at Hazeltine National Golf Club.

Woods was also a playing captain at the 2019 Presidents Cup, as his side edged past the Internationals 16-14 in Melbourne with the skipper winning all three of his matches.

Ryder Cup a place of frustration

Of the eight Ryder Cups Woods featured in (1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2012 and 2018), he only ever ended up on the winning side once in the epic comeback at Brookline in 1999.

Even then, the American lost three of his four pairs matches before coming out on top in the singles on Sunday, beating Andrew Coltart to secure a crucial point.

Overall, Woods' win-loss-half record in the Ryder Cup reads 13-21-3, meaning he contributed a total of 14.5 points from a possible 37. Nearly a third of those points came via the singles, as he won four, lost two and halved two of those matches.

The 46-year-old was always seen as a big scalp when it came to the Ryder Cup, with his European opponents often raising their games to get one over on the former world number one.

Meanwhile, the enormity of being paired with Woods was often too much for his fellow teammates and even the times he was paired with more experienced heads, such as Stricker and Phil Mickelson, the combinations often failed to fire.

However, Woods being involved in Johnson's coaching team for Italy looks to be an astute decision from the latter, as he can give words of advice and just generally be an inspiring figure for the team.

Related Ryder Cup News

Ryder Cup - Golf: How Europe could line up

Ryder Cup - Golf: How the USA could line up

Woods set for 2025 captaincy

It's safe to say that Woods' days of playing in the Ryder Cup are over and his eyes will now be set on being given the captaincy after the 2023 event in Italy.

The action takes place at Bethpage Black in 2025, a course that hosted the US Open in 2002 and 2009 and the PGA Championship in 2019.

Woods has fond memories of the venue, having won the 2002 US Open, while he also finished tied-sixth there in 2009. His knowledge of the course and knowing what type of skills are required to handle it could prove invaluable, making him a prime pick to be USA's skipper.

For an away challenge, the Ryder Cup in 2027 will be played at Adare Manor in the Republic of Ireland – a venue Woods graced this summer at the JP McManus Pro-Am - while he could return to Hazeltine for a home test in 2019, this time as captain, having been a vice-skipper at that course in the 2016 success.

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