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Page last updated at 02:14 GMT, Monday, 16 August 2010 03:14 UK

Tiger Woods misses US Ryder Cup team qualification

Tiger Woods
Woods's Ryder Cup fate is in the hands of Corey Pavin

Tiger Woods failed to qualify for one of the automatic spots on the US Ryder Cup team when the selection race ended after the USPGA on Sunday.

The world number one tied for 28th at Whistling Straits to finish 12th in the Ryder Cup standings with the top eight receiving a place on the US team.

Woods will now have to rely on one of four wildcard picks on 7 September.

USPGA runner-up Bubba Watson sealed his debut in third place, but Anthony Kim and Lucas Glover also missed out.

Masters champion Phil Mickelson topped the standings from WGC Bridgestone Invitational winner Hunter Mahan as Watson, Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, Dustin Johnson, Jeff Overton and Matt Kuchar made up the eight who qualified for the 1-3 October match at Celtic Manor.

Kim, who missed three months after thumb surgery, 2009 US Open champion Glover, 2007 Masters winner Zach Johnson and world number one Woods were next in line and are now in the hands of captain Corey Pavin.

"He played better last week," Pavin said of Woods's performance at Whistling Straits, "and he's working on some things that seem to be improving his game, so I was obviously pleased to see that.

"His comments to the media are very positive, he want to plays and he wants to be on the team.

"He's high on my list and he's certainly a big consideration, no doubt, but as I've said before I'm looking at everybody and, come September 7th, I will let you guys know who those four are going to be.

"He and a lot of other guys are on my list, and probably that list is going to grow in the next three weeks."

Watson climbed 15 spots with his play-off loss to Martin Kaymer in the USPGA and becomes one of four rookies on the team along with Johnson, Overton and Kuchar.

"I've wanted to play the Ryder Cup my whole life," said Watson. "I've made many a putt when I was eight and 10-years-old to win the Ryder Cup. So why would you not want to play for your country?"

The 34-year-old Woods, whose world has been turned upside down after a sex scandal, is struggling to recreate the form that has won him 14 major titles and has not clinched a major since June 2008.

After taking five months out to address issues in his private life at the start of the year, he made an encouraging return when he finished tied for fourth at the Masters and again at the US Open.

But the rest of his year has been poor by his standards, including missing the cut at Quail Hollow, withdrawing from the Players Championship and suffering his worst four-round result in a PGA Tour finish at Ohio last week.


His private life has remained under intense scrutiny and he has also struggled with injuries but his most visible problems have been with his game, driving erratically and putting badly.

He has sought the help of Canadian swing coach Sean Foley after former guru Hank Haney quit in May, and while he believes he is making some early improvements he admits it remains a work in progress.

"I asked him to take a look at my swing this week and give me some ideas of what he sees," Woods said.

"I like some of the things he had to say about my golf swing and where I needed to go. I like the direction because I was able to hit the shots that I used to be able to hit feel wise.

"As far as working down the road, I'm sure I'm going to see him a little bit more. I still want to pick his brain a little bit more."

Although it is considered a foregone conclusion that Woods would be offered a wildcard, Pavin said this week that he was not guaranteed a place because he wanted to be fair to all the players in contention.

"Well Corey texts me a lot so, I'm sure he'll be texting me or calling me and I'm sure we'll be talking," Woods said.

"I'm looking forward to it. Hopefully, Corey will pick me on the team."

And he joked: "I think I've got a chance of maybe helping out in singles."

Woods has played in five Ryder Cups beginning at Valderrama in 1997 but missed out in 2008 after knee surgery, when the US team won for the first time since 1999 and recorded its largest margin of victory since 1981.

The European team qualification for the nine automatic slots ends at the Johnnie Walker Championship on 29 August after which captain Colin Montgomerie will name three wildcards.

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see also
Europe stars battling to make Cup
16 Aug 10 |  Golf
Kaymer wins controversial USPGA
16 Aug 10 |  Golf
Woods is not certain pick - Pavin
12 Aug 10 |  Golf
Woods questions Ryder Cup place
09 Aug 10 |  Golf
US secure emphatic Ryder Cup win
21 Sep 08 |  Golf

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