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Wounded Tiger seeks Ryder Cup captaincy

TIGER Woods is setting his sights on the captaincy of the US squad in the Ryder Cup after struggling to compete in the Masters Tournament. | DAVID CANNON/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

AUGUSTA (AFP) — Tiger Woods will resume talks about being the 2025 US Ryder Cup captain next week after the 15-time major winner struggles through aches and pains simply to walk 72 holes at the Masters.

Woods said Tuesday he has delayed talks with the PGA of America about being captain next year at Bethpage because he hasn’t lost confidence that he can win another green jacket.

“If everything comes together, I think I can get one more,” Woods said Tuesday after a nine-hole practice round at Augusta National ahead of the 88th Masters.

Woods said he will resume Ryder Cup talks next week with PGA of America chief executive officer Seth Waugh.

“It’s something that Seth and I are going to sit back and talk about after this event,” Woods said.

“I said I’m going to be busy for a couple weeks, so let me focus on getting through this week and hopefully getting another jacket, and then we can sit back and talk about it next week.”

The 48-year-old US legend has recovered from right ankle surgery last April that stemmed from a 2021 car crash that caused severe leg injuries.

“I hurt every day,” Woods said.

“I ache. I ache every day.”

Nevertheless, Woods made a believer of pal Fred Couples who joined Woods and Justin Thomas in Tuesday’s practice session.

“Can he win here? You know what? Yeah,” Couples said. “Nine holes is only nine holes on a Tuesday, but he never mis-hits a shot.”

“His ankle is bad. We know it. But he’s here, he’s going to walk 72 holes, and if he keeps playing like that, he’ll be a factor.”

Woods withdrew after making the cut last year rather than face a rainy last day with extra holes.

“He said his back is doing okay,” Couples said.

“He looks strong and he’s excited to play.”

Woods, a five-time Masters champion, won his most recent major title at Augusta National in 2019, completing an epic comeback from multiple back and knee operations.

At this stage, Woods is having to spread the stress load from his shot-making across his surgically repaired body.

“Well, the ankle doesn’t hurt anymore. It’s fused. It’s not going anywhere. So that’s fine. It’s other parts of my body that now have to take the brunt of it,” he said.

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