Tim's Take: Tiger as a captain's pick? - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Tim's Take: Tiger as a captain's pick?

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A good rule of thumb for a Ryder Cup captain is never put someone you can beat on your team.

But Tom Watson might have to suspend all the rules when he completes this year's U.S. team, because he might have to take a player who he was two shots better than on Wednesday.

"Yeah, I wasn't very good," Tiger Woods said after his 3-over-par 74 in Thursday's first round of the PGA Championship. "A lot of bad shots."

Watson shot 72.

Woods could have said that about his entire 2014 season, which has been derailed by back surgery.

And if he was anyone else, it would also describe his chances of making the Ryder Cup team as a captain's selection.

But even now, during perhaps the worst extended stretch of his career, Tiger is not anyone else. And he will have to receive consideration as a captain's selection no other player ranked 69 on the Ryder Cup points list would ever get.

"I always said I learned to win because I hated to lose," Watson said on the day he was introduced as the 2014 U.S. captain. "And it's about time we start winning again. That's the attitude I hope my players have."

No player of this generation has it more than Tiger.

And even now, as a bad back and a lack of preparation have hampered his game, his passion to play well remains.

So, the possibility that for three days he might find his once unrivaled form inside that broken body will require Watson to consider him for one of the three captain's picks that will round out the 12-man team when the Ryder Cup point period ends Sunday.

The question isn't is Tiger as good as he once was. He's not. It's would he be better for the U.S. team than Ryan Moore or Brendon Todd or any of the others who are close but have not qualified.

And that's a question Captain Watson will be asking himself right up to, and perhaps beyond, the time he makes his decision.

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