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Steve Stricker keen to have Tiger Woods on backroom staff for Ryder Cup

Steve Stricker keen to have Tiger Woods on backroom staff for Ryder Cup
© Reuters
The 15-time major winner underwent surgery on injuries to his leg, foot and ankle following a car crash in Los Angeles in February.

United States captain Steve Stricker hopes to have Tiger Woods as part of his backroom staff for September's Ryder Cup.

Woods underwent surgery on open fractures to his lower right leg and further injuries to his foot and ankle following a single-vehicle crash in Los Angeles in February.

The 15-time major winner, who was found to be driving at twice the legal speed limit when he crashed, is recovering at home in Florida and recently posted a picture of himself on Instagram standing on crutches.

Asked ahead of the US PGA Championship if he wanted his former partner to be a vice-captain at Whistling Straits, Stricker said: "I've talked to him. I don't know if we are there yet to commit to him being there.

"He's still got a lot going on and his spirits are great, though, as of late. We were on a Zoom call with him just this last week and he seems like he's in a better place. Like I said, though, he's still got some ways to go.

"But yeah, I'd love to have him there. Who wouldn't, right? The guys really respect him and he did a great job obviously as a captain (in the 2019 Presidents Cup) but he was an assistant captain of mine in 2017 and he was unbelievable.

"He would do anything for you and he's totally, totally vested in the situation and the process and almost to the point of he's on it early and so much it's like, 'Dude, we've still got months to go yet'.

Steve Stricker
Steve Stricker (left) partnered Tiger Woods (right) on numerous occasions in the Ryder Cup (David Davies/PA)

"He's really good at being an assistant and I'd love to have him be there if it's at all possible."

Woods has a poor playing record in the Ryder Cup, winning 13, losing 21 and halving three of his matches, most recently losing all four matches in the 2018 contest in Paris.

The 45-year-old was often felt not to care about the team event as he pursued individual glory, particularly early in his career, but Stricker added: "I think the earlier perception was a bit unfair, although he's a difficult guy to pair with, I think.

"I can say that because I was his partner and we had a great partnership.

Tiger Woods
Woods lost all four of his matches in the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris (Gareth Fuller/PA)

"But he's the best player in the world and his partner has to be... I don't know what the word is, you have to be OK with playing with the best player in the game and there's some expectation put on as his partner.

"He's always been this way on the teams I've been around, very into the whole team and the process.

"As assistant captain, it's almost like he's taken it up a notch. He is all-in with everybody and the players love it. They love being around him and he adds a tremendous amount when he is there."

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Thursday's key events

· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
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· Holly Bradshaw aims to improve on fifth in Rio to challenge Greece's Katerina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia for an unlikely medal in the women's pole vault (11am)
· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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