PGA Tour

Spieth: Tiger brings intimidation factor

2015-11-27 06:52
Tiger Wood (AFP)

Sydney - World No 1 Jordan Spieth believes the appointment of Tiger Woods as a vice-captain will be a "huge intimidation" advantage for the US Ryder Cup team as they bid to win the trophy for the first time since 2008.

The two-time Major winner also expects Woods to qualify automatically for Hazeltine in 2016 despite uncertainty over his return to competition after a second back operation.

"The fact Davis (Love) has appointed Tiger as a vice-captain means Tiger is going to bring a huge intimidation factor to the USA team next September," Spieth said Thursday evening ahead of the second round of the Australian Open in Sydney.

"I am also of the opinion that Tiger will be on the team whether he qualifies automatically or as a captain's pick.

"I was speaking with Tiger recently and while he's been appointed a vice-captain, he told me he's going to make that Hazeltine team, so I hope he does."

With Spieth absent from competition for three weeks, the 22-year old Texan was commenting publicly for the first time on US captain Davis Love's recent appointment of additional vice-captains Woods, Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker.

"It's a great decision on Davis's part selecting Tiger and I don't see any downside to it at all," Spieth said.

"It maybe is a bit unusual having five vice-captains but given I am not on the committee that was formed, they do have a plan and the plan is to have five vice-captains.

"So I will follow the plan and with an additional vice-captain I do feel this next Ryder Cup could be a more laid back atmosphere."

And Spieth sees no problems for the team should any of the vice-captains qualify automatically to play.

"While we're not real sure about Tiger and Strick (Stricker) you would have to think Jim (Furyk) could still qualify for the team, but then I don't have a problem with that," he said.

"That wouldn't hurt the team and I don't think it would make much of a difference because if any of the vice-captains such as he and Tiger did make the team they would still be strong leaders out on the golf course."

Next year's Ryder Cup will be played September 30-October 2 at Hazeltine National Golf Club in suburban Minneapolis.

The Americans lead the all-time rivalry 25-13 with two draws, but the Europeans have won three in a row, six of the past seven and eight of the past 10.

Read more on:    ryder cup  |  jordan spieth  |  tiger woods  |  golf

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