US Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson has revealed Tiger Woods will not be in attendance at the Ryder Cup this month, but the 15-time major champion has been regularly texting him in the lead up to the biennial contest in Rome.
Woods, 47, confirmed the news to Johnson via their latest text exchange as he continues to recover from ankle surgery at home.
He was encouragingly spotted out on the golf course with his son Charlie Woods last month and once more at PGA National over the weekend, as specualtion mounts as to when Woods will return to the PGA Tour.
#NEW — Tiger Woods was seen walking the golf course at PGA National over the course of the long weekend as he watched CW compete down in South FL. It’s hard to imagine that Woods hasn’t hit some balls at this point if he’s now able to walk golf courses. pic.twitter.com/YncyiMgYqD— TWLEGION (@TWlegion) September 4, 2023
There is hope Tiger and Charlie may be able to tee it up together in the annual father-son PNC Championship just before Christmas.
But we'll have to wait and see.
Johnson last week confirmed his six captain's picks.
The decision to select Thomas is said to have gone down well with the Woods camp as he is a close family friend.
There are plenty of golf fans out there who consider Thomas was hugely fortunate to receive a pick, especially having missed six of his last 12 cuts on the PGA Tour.
Roy Keane’s reaction to seeing Justin Thomas getting a captains pick for the Ryder Cup. pic.twitter.com/rPqaph5psV— Rory Flanigan (@Flan8) August 29, 2023
As a result that saw Thomas miss out on the FedEx Cup Playoffs for the first ever time.
Woods' former long-time golf coach Hank Haney believes Johnson's picks were all part of the 'Boys Club'.
Woods may have won 15 major titles but it's fair to say his Ryder Cup record will never be fondly remembered.
The former World No.1 played in eight Ryder Cups (1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2012 and 2018) and he went 13-21-3.
Woods was incredibly only ever on one victorious US Ryder Cup team as a player, and that came at Brookline in 1999.
Although Woods has confirmed he will not be in attendance at Marco Simone this month, Johnson has admitted the 82-time PGA Tour winner has been in regular contact with him in the lead up to the Ryder Cup.
Johnson has built a close bond with Woods down the years, and it's one that has got even stronger in recent times as a result of his vice-captaincy roles in both US Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams.
Two-time major champion Johnson then explained how Woods was influential in helping Steve Stricker's 2021 Ryder Cup side run out a record 19-9 truimph at Whistling Straits last time out, despite not physically competing in the team.
Woods is said to have played a key role in rallying the team and providing motivational talks on a regular basis via video chat.
The same thing is likely to happen again when Team USA rock up at Marco Simone in three weeks' time, especially as Johnson's side go in pursuit of winning the Ryder Cup for the first time in Europe since 1993.
When further pressed on whether Woods would be making an appearance in person in Italy this month, Johnson ruled it out.
Will USA end 30 years of hurt by winning the Ryder Cup on European soil in Italy? What do you make of Johnson's picks? When do you reckon we will see Tiger return to the PGA Tour? Share your thoughts and comments over on the GolfMagic social media channels.