Tiger Woods Still Deciding Whether He Has Time To Be Ryder Cup Captain

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Tiger Woods brings a lot of uncertainty to Valhalla for the PGA Championship. Some of that has to do with his achy body. And some of that involved the Ryder Cup.

The PGA of America still has not settled on a captain for the 2025 matches at Bethpage Black, with Woods as the most obvious candidate. Seth Waugh, CEO of the PGA of America, had said he would be speaking to Woods.

“We’re still talking,” Woods said Tuesday. “There’s nothing that has been confirmed yet. We’re still working on what that might look like — also whether or not I have the time to do it.”

The PGA of America typically announces the Ryder Cup captain well before the Masters of the preceding year. Zach Johnson was announced in February 2022 for last year’s Ryder Cup.

Woods, who has teed it up only twice this year going into the PGA Championship, is keeping plenty busy off the golf course. He was appointed to the PGA Tour board last summer and has been a central voice in meetings. Woods also is on the committee that is meeting with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia about becoming a minority investor.

The U.S. Ryder Cup captain, whoever that is, has a lot of promoting to do, which includes a “one year out” event at Bethpage Black in September.

“I need to feel that I can give the amount of time that it deserves,” said Woods, who won his second U.S. Open at Bethpage Black in 2002.

Woods had mixed memories when he returned to Valhalla. He played a practice round late last week and was on the course the past two days. Heavy thunderstorms shut the course for a few hours on Tuesday.

There was 2000, where he made what he still considers the most pressure-filled putt of his career. He had a fabulous duel with unheralded Bob May, ending with Woods having to make a 6-foot birdie putt on the last hole to force a playoff.

And there was 2014, when he was trying to recover from the first of four back surgeries. Woods had to withdraw the previous week at Firestone, and he didn’t come close to making the cut at Valhalla.

“At that time I was maybe one back procedure into it. Now it’s a hell of a lot more than that number,” he said. “Back is now fused, as you know. Yeah, coming into 2014, I wasn’t feeling very good. But I’m always going to feel soreness and stiffness in my back, but that’s OK. Just need other body parts to start feeling better.”

He also needs more than two good rounds. Woods set a Masters record this year by making the cut for the 24th consecutive time, but he followed with an 82 in the third round and wound up in last place among those who made the cut.

He has not played since then.

“I still feel that I can win golf tournaments. I still feel I can hit the shots and still feel like I still have my hand around the greens and I can putt,” Woods said. “I just need to do it for all four days, not like I did at Augusta for only two.”

As for his other job, Woods didn’t reveal much about discussions with PIF or any of the obstacles in the way of the sport somehow being reunited. He described negotiations as fluid, with plenty of work ahead.

“It may not be giant steps, but we’re making steps,” he said.

He also said he was surprised by the resignation Monday of Jimmy Dunne, a PGA Tour board member and key architect of the June 6 framework agreement with the Saudis.

Dunne said that with the balance now tilting toward players over business leaders on the PGA Tour board, he felt his input was “superfluous.” Woods was asked if golfers were best suited to handle business dealings of the PGA Tour.

“Well, the PGA Tour is for the players and by the players. So, we have an influence and there’s roles for the player directors and there’s roles for the independents,” he said. “We’re trying to make the PGA Tour the best it can be day in and day out.

“That’s one of the reasons why we have arguments and we have disagreements, but we want to do what’s best for everyone in golf and the tour.”