Tiger Woods is on the United States Ryder Cup team for the first time in six years. He finished 11th in the two-year points standings, even though he hardly played last season. Or even the season before that, thanks to various injuries.
At one point Woods wasn't sure he'd ever play again. But in 2018 he's had a handful of top 10s, led the British Open with nine holes to go in July and was second in the PGA Championship last month, when he closed with a 64.
That was enough for Jim Furyk to make the greatest golfer of his generation one of his captain's picks on Tuesday — even though Woods, like fellow wild-card choice Phil Mickelson, has a losing record in the biennial matches, which will be held late this month in suburban Paris. So where does the bloke who might become the greatest golfer of his era, former world No. 1 Jordan Spieth, stand on this?
You obviously have to go about your business in a better way. It's a fantastic opportunity, [to] try and win this golf tournament. Embrace the challenge. But my mind will not be set on any kind of projections, I promise you that. It's not do-or-die for me.
"To get an opportunity to play with Tiger or Phil in a Ryder Cup match, it's stuff you tell your kids or grandkids someday," Speith said Wednesday at Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, about 24 hours before the start of the BMW Championship, the next-to-last leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs. "It's pretty awesome. There will be … guys that could be chomping at the bit. Absolutely. I think it's universal.
"He adds something to it. He certainly moves the needle in every sense of the game. So it's good to have him in our corner for sure."
One day, maybe younger golfers will be saying much the same thing about Spieth (one of the eight automatic qualifiers), who just turned 25 yet has already won three majors and nearly added a few others. Still, he hasn't won anything since the 2017 British. He's fallen to 10th in the world rankings. He's also 27th in the FedEx standings. Only the top 30 advance to the Tour Championship, which he won in 2015.
"Just trying to stay the path going forward," Spieth said. "That's kind of where my mind is. It's very positive. I had the opportunity to win two of the majors on Sunday, which is cool. That's kind of my goal at the beginning of every year. The ball didn't fall my way as it has previous years. But putting myself in position at the biggest stage is exciting. I feel like I've learned a lot about my game.
"You obviously have to go about your business in a better way. It's a fantastic opportunity, [to] try and win this golf tournament. Embrace the challenge. But my mind will not be set on any kind of projections, I promise you that. It's not do-or-die for me."