Ian Poulter says Tiger Woods Ryder Cup role is smart move by USA

Tiger Woods Autograph

Ian Poulter, who has afforded himself symbolic Ryder Cup status, believes the United States have made a “smart” choice in selecting Tiger Woods as a vice-captain for next year’s event at Hazeltine.

The timing of the appointment, Poulter concedes, will only cast fresh doubt over Woods’s ability to compete as a player.

Davis Love III, the USA captain, surprisingly named Woods, Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker as assistants on Wednesday; 10 months before the Americans attempt to reclaim the Ryder Cup from Europe. It was the name of Woods, who is recovering from his latest back operation, which understandably leapt out.

“Smart move,” Poulter said. “Why wouldn’t he want to be part of the team, whether it be playing or even vice-captain? He has been part of that team for so many years.

“Tiger’s Tiger. He creates a buzz whether he is playing or not. Just his presence there would be a good thing for the team. So, smart move.”

Poulter said it would not come into his thoughts to be confirmed in such a role with so much time to go before the biennial event. “I think his body has taken an awful lot of punishment over the last few years,” he added. “He went back in for another surgery and that’s obviously difficult.

“It is going to be difficult for him to come back from that. It is an early announcement but it is not a bad announcement. He is bringing a lot of experience. Guys will respect what he has done. So to have him in the team room will be a good thing for them.”

Patrick Reed, one of few bright spots for the USA team in the defeat at Gleneagles last year, also endorsed Love’s decision. “Tiger will bring a lot of intensity, motivation and drive to the team room and I’m pretty sure he will be pushing the guys,” he said. “The three Davis has chosen are not only great guys but also really good leaders and really great golfers.”

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Ewan Murray in Dubai, for theguardian.com on Thursday 19th November 2015 13.33 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010