LOS ANGELES • Tiger Woods, who plans to make his PGA Tour return next week after more than a year on the sidelines, has been appointed as one of three vice-captains to US skipper Steve Stricker for next year's Presidents Cup in New Jersey.
Woods will join Fred Couples and triumphant US Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III as assistants for the biennial team competition against the Internationals to be played at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City from Sept 28-Oct 1.
"It's just a tremendous honour," Woods, who has paired up successfully with his long-time friend Stricker in the past at both the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, said in a statement on Wednesday after being formally appointed.
"We've been friends for close to 20 years now, and we've been on teams together... so for him to have the confidence in me, to be part of the crew and help him in any way I possibly can - I'm thrilled to be his assistant."
Former world No. 1 Woods, who got his first taste as a vice-captain during last week's Ryder Cup in Minnesota where the United States beat Europe 17-11, could still play his way on to the US Presidents Cup team.
"If that happens, replacing him as a captain's assistant will be a great problem for me to have," said Stricker. "But if he doesn't, I'm honoured he accepted this role for the first time in his Presidents Cup career.
"Tiger has been a great team-mate and friend over the years, and I know the US guys will benefit from the experience and camaraderie that only Tiger can bring."
Woods has not played competitive golf since the Wyndham Championship in late August last year while recovering from multiple back surgeries. He intends to make his PGA Tour comeback at next week's Safeway Open in Napa, California.
The 40-year-old added that he would enjoy guiding a future US Ryder Cup team.
"Yeah, I would love to do it," Woods said.
"I would be honoured to do it in the future, if asked. But from the player standpoint of it, I like playing. I love being out there, in the fight with these guys."
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE