Medinah: US 2012 Ryder Cup captain Davis Love said he would probably do what 2011 Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples did and select a healthy Tiger Woods for his team even after a winless season.
One year before the start of the Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club near Chicago, Love and European counterpart Jose Maria Olazabal of Spain spoke at the course about the event, where the Americans will try to reclaim the trophy.
Woods, a former World No. 1 now ranked 50th, has not won since November of 2009, just before his infamous sex scandal began. He spent much of this season nursing knee and Achilles tendon injuries suffered at the Masters.
But Woods was selected well in advance of Tuesday`s announcements as a pick for the US Presidents Cup team by Couples, saying he wanted Woods on the squad. Love is ready to play it the same way, although he might not say so in advance.
"You certainly want one of the best players ever in the game. You want him on your team," Love said. "I`m hoping, as a friend, for Tiger`s sake, that he has a full, healthy season next year and we are not in this situation, that he`s back to his form, and he`s ready to go.”
"I would love to play as Tiger Woods` partner in a Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup, so I would probably have to go with exactly what Fred did."
Olazabal will guide the Europeans in the first Ryder Cup since the death of Seve Ballesteros, his long-time Ryder Cup partner. The Spanish duo went 11-2-2 as a Ryder Cup pairing and Olazabal evoked Ballesteros in comments to Love.
"We do have similarities," Olazabal said. "We`re kind of sentimental in a way. I know that your father passed away early and unfortunately I lost a dear friend and a mentor not long ago.”
"I`m pretty sure that both of them will be looking on us and when everything is done and over, all I can hope for is that both of them will be proud of us."
Europeans have won six of the past eight Ryder Cups, including last year at Wales, but Love said he is counting on some home-course advantage from fans and a challenging Medinah layout that has hosted five major championships.
"I don`t think you have to do too much to this golf course," Love said. "I don`t know if there`s a way for it to be an advantage one way or another. We`re both going to have super-talented, long-hitting teams that make a lot of birdies."