United States captain Zach Johnson confirms Tiger Woods will be involved at 2023 Ryder Cup in Italy

Ryder Cup captains Zach Johnson and Luke Donald gathered for a joint press conference and unsurprisingly enough it took just two questions before Tiger Woods and his status for the upcoming competition was put to question.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen next September, but you can rest assured that he will be in constant communication with our team,” Johnson said on Tuesday at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome, Italy, the host for next fall’s biennial bash between the United States Europe, September 29–October 1. Whether as a player or captain, Johnson confirmed Woods “will be a part of this team in some capacity.”

“I can’t put this mildly: He loves the Ryder Cup,” added Johnson, who represented Team USA five times as a player and will make his debut as captain in Italy. “He has made it a priority of his, and certainly Team USA. He wants to be a part of it as best he can. Obviously he’s gone through some things as of late that make it difficult whether it’s travel or what-have-you. But he and I will be in constant communication. I will welcome that. He has great ideas. Has great encouragement.”

“But he’s very much a part of Team USA.”

U.S. Ryder Cup player Tiger Woods (L) watches as team mate Zach Johnson plays his tee shot from the fourth during a Ryde Cup practice session at Celtic Manor golf course in Newport, Wales on September 28, 2010. (Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images)

The 15-time major champion has competed in eight Ryder Cups, most recently in Paris in 2018. Woods is 13-21-3 in the competition, with a 4-2-2 record in singles. He was not officially involved in last year’s American rout of the Europeans at Whistling Straits, 19-9. In fact, the last time golf fans saw Woods as a member of Team USA, he was a playing captain at the 2019 Presidents Cup, going a perfect 3-0-0 to lead the U.S. over the Internationals 16-14.

Navigating Marco Simone’s hilly terrain on foot would make for quite the challenge for Woods, who continues to recover from multiple leg injuries sustained in a single-car accident in February 2021. Riding in a golf cart as a vice-captain, however, is a different story.