Will Tiger Woods make the 12-man U.S. Ryder Cup team for the 2018 event in Paris? Brandel Chamblee said there’s an “80-percent chance he’ll be playing on the team.”
The Golf Channel analyst appeared on the Golf Channel Podcast this week and talked a variety of topics, including if Woods, who last week was named a vice captain for Jim Furyk’s squad this year, would tee it up in his first Ryder Cup since 2012.
“My guess is he’ll get pegged as a player and his responsibilities as a vice captain will sort of slip to the side,” Chamblee said. “They’ll find another vice captain. Although, he and Phil (Mickelson) and Furyk, they’re the leaders whether they’re playing or not.”
Woods, 42 and coming off a spinal fusion last April, has impressed in his return to competitive golf. He tied for ninth at the Hero World Challenge last December before finishing T-23 at the Farmers Insurance Open in January. He did miss the cut at the Genesis Open earlier this month, but dazzled at the Honda Classic with a solo-12th finish.
“If the Ryder Cup were played next week, he’d get picked based upon what he did at the Honda, based upon who he is,” Chamblee said. “If he had yucked it around like he did at Farmers at Honda and finished (T-23), he wouldn’t have got picked. But he looked like a bad ass at Honda. He looked like ‘Tiger Woods: Bad Ass.’ And with the exception of Sam Burns, nobody really played particularly well when they were playing with him.
“So I think he’d get picked. There’s only eight that are going to make the team. They’re going to have four picks. There is nobody that is going to say, ‘Hey, let’s not pick Tiger Woods.’”
Chamblee added that the only reason he didn’t give Woods a 100-percent chance of playing in the Ryder Cup was because of physical concerns with Woods’ body.
“There’s a 20-percent chance that something happens to him physically, I would say,” Chamblee said. “Who knows? There were times where he looked a little fragile to me, bending over to tee a ball up. He didn’t look 22 years old when he was teeing his golf ball up. Now, he looked 22 years old when he was swinging at it. But he didn’t look 22 years old when he was teeing the ball up.”