Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson get United States wildcards

Tiger Woods says his return to the United States Ryder Cup team after a six-year gap is “beyond special”.

Woods, 42, has been named as one of three wildcard picks for the US team to face Europe later this month, alongside Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau.

The 14-time major champion is on the playing side for the first time since 2012, having recovered from back surgery and shown a return to form.

Mickelson, 48, plays in a record 12th event after making his debut in 1995.

US captain Jim Furyk will make his fourth and final wildcard pick for the tournament on Monday.

The biennial competition will take place at Le Golf National near Paris in France from 28-30 September.

Explaining why he had picked the trio, Furyk said: “We were looking for players that have a body of work, players that are in good form and we’re heading to Europe, playing on foreign soil, so wanted players that would handle that situation and thrive on it.”

On Woods, he added: “We’re all excited to see him healthy again and his game playing well. It’s a feather in our cap to have him in our side.”

“I haven’t been part of the team playing-wise for six years,” Woods said. “To have the honour to play again is beyond special.”

Five-time major winner Mickelson had jointly held the record for most appearances with England’s Nick Faldo, who played in 11 editions of the biennial event from 1977.

DeChambeau is in fine form, having won the previous two PGA Tour events and finishing ninth in the US Ryder Cup qualification standings, with the top eight being automatically selected, leaving Furyk to make four wildcard picks.

US Open and US PGA Championship champion Brooks Koepka, Masters winner Patrick Reed, world number one Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson had all qualified automatically.

Mickelson was 10th in the standings, with Woods 11th.

Woods had been down to be a non-playing vice-captain for the US team but Furyk said he would still be aiming to draw on his knowledge and experience while freeing him up to play.

He has confirmed he had added David Duval, Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar to his backroom team as a result.

United States are the current holders, having won 17-11 in 2016 at Hazeltine, but have not triumphed on European soil since a 15-13 victory at The Belfry in 1993.

Open champion Francesco Molinari, Justin Rose, Tyrrell Hatton, Tommy Fleetwood, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Alex Noren and Thorbjorn Olesen are in the Europe side with captain Thomas Bjorn set to announce his quartet of wildcard picks at 14:00 BST on Wednesday, 5 September.

Last 12 Ryder Cups
Year and venue Result
2016 – Hazeltine, Minnesota, USA United States 17-11 Europe
2014 – Gleneagles, Scotland Europe 16.5-11.5 United States
2012 – Medinah, Illinois, USA United States 13.5-14.5 Europe
2010 – Celtic Manor, Wales Europe 14.5-13.5 United States
2008 – Valhalla, Kentucky, USA United States 16.5-11.5 Europe
2006 – K Club, Republic of Ireland Europe 18.5-9.5 United States
2004 – Oakland Hills, Michigan, USA United States 9.5-18.5 Europe
2002 – The Belfry, England Europe 15.5-12.5 United States
1999 – The Country Club, Massachusetts, USA United States 14.5-13.5 Europe
1997 – Valderrama, Spain Europe 14.5-13.5 United States
1995 – Oak Hill, New York, USA United States 13.5-14.5 Europe
1993 – The Belfry, England Europe 13-15 United States

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