U.S. captain hints at Woods as a pick

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U.S. captain hints at Woods as a pick

MILWAUKEE - U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin hinted that struggling world No. 1 Tiger Woods would be one of his four picks for the team that will take on Europe starting Oct. 1 in Wales.

“Well, he’s the No. 1 player in the world,” Pavin told reporters at a news conference on Monday when asked about the pros and cons of selecting Woods, who has failed to win a tournament this year and has struggled to find his form.

“Obviously I’m considering him highly, no doubt about it. He’s playing better. I think we have all seen that and he wants to play, he wants to be a part of the team. But it’s going to be my judgment whether I pick him or not.

“I don’t think there are any cons.”

Woods, who tied for 28th at the U.S. PGA Championship at Whistling Straits on Sunday, finished 12th in the Ryder Cup points list, outside the top eight players who won automatic berths on the 12-man team.

Pavin will announce his four captain’s picks on Sept. 7. The U.S. captain, however, said the remaining weeks leading up to his decision could be critical.

“Obviously what happens the next three weeks is going to be very important,” said Pavin. “Obviously guys that are higher up in points that have done better this year are being looked at more closely now.”

Ranked above Woods on the points list and also failing to earn an automatic berth were Anthony Kim, Lucas Glover and Zach Johnson. Just behind Woods in points were Bo Van Pelt, Stewart Cink, Ben Crane, Ricky Barnes, Nick Watney and Sean O’Hair.

By his own admission, Woods has failed to regain his form after taking a self-imposed break following revelations about his marital infidelities. After an encouraging return when he tied for fourth at the U.S. Masters and the U.S. Open, he missed the cut at Quail Hollow, withdrew from the Players Championship and suffered his worst four-round result in a PGA Tour finish at Ohio last week.

While Pavin said he would face a difficult chore in picking from among his wild-card candidates, the U.S. captain had high praise for PGA Championship winner Martin Kaymer, who claimed a place on the European team after beating American Bubba Watson in a three-hole playoff on Sunday.

“Obviously Martin played great,” Pavin said about the 25-year-old German. “He’s going to be a tough guy to play against out there. He’s a great ball striker. He does everything well. I don’t see any weakness in his game. He’s going to be a great addition to the European team.”

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