Tiger Woods is progressing and optimistic he will "play golf again" following a serious car accident in February, according to Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker.

Stricker announced his six picks for the United States team ahead of next month's Ryder Cup against Europe at Whistling Straights, though 15-time major champion Woods was a notable absentee on Wednesday.

Woods is recovering after suffering a comminuted open fracture in his right leg, which required emergency surgery, while also sustaining additional injuries to his foot and ankle as a result of the single-vehicle incident in California.

It remains to be seen when the 45-year-old will return to the course, but Stricker provided a positive update midweek.

"I've talked to Tiger a lot," American veteran Stricker told SiriusXM Radio.

"He's a part of this Ryder Cup family; he won't be able to be a captain's assistant this time around just because of his ongoing rehabilitation to try to get better and try to play golf again, and that is going well.

"He's progressing, he's doing well, things are moving in the right direction."

Stricker added: "He's very passionate about [the Ryder Cup]. He's a great guy to talk to. He's a great guy to lean on. We've had a number of talks.

"He continues to be a part of this, even though he won’t physically be here. He will be with us in spirit and help us if we need any help from afar."

United States captain Steve Stricker has selected Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele among his wildcard picks for the Ryder Cup, but there is no place for Patrick Reed on the 12-player roster.

Spieth will appear at the biennial competition for a fourth time in a row, while Schauffele is set to make his debut against Europe in next month's tournament at Whistling Straits after recently winning Olympic gold.

Schauffele was one of three rookies chosen by Stricker on Wednesday along with Daniel Berger, Harris English and Scottie Scheffler, with Tony Finau – part of the USA side that lost in Paris three years ago – completing the captain's picks.

Speaking at a news conference to announce his final selection, Stricker said: "All six of these guys have been playing some really good golf for a long period of time. 

"It's more about a body of work. They have all played great throughout this year and very well deserving of these picks."

The top-six qualifiers – Collin Morikawa, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Patrick Cantlay – had already locked in spots for the USA, who are seeking to regain the trophy after that 17.5-10.5 loss in 2018.

Reed is the most notable name overlooked by Stricker, the 31-year-old having featured in every American team since 2014. 

He made his return from a month-long absence at last week's Tour Championship after being hospitalised with pneumonia in both lungs.

Asked to explain his decision to overlook Reed, who top-scored for USA in their 2016 victory at Hazeltine, Stricker said: "That was a very, very difficult call. I lost sleep over that one. 

"He's a tremendous competitor, he brings a lot of match play golf and his record at the Ryder Cup is pretty darn good.

"I think it was the uncertainty of his health and the lack of play that led to our decision down the stretch."

Team Europe captain Padraig Harrington will announce his final three picks on Sunday.

Phil Mickelson and Fred Couples have been named vice-captains for the 2020 Ryder Cup by United States captain Steve Stricker. 

Stricker's other vice-captains are Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson and Love, meaning there is no place in the leadership team for Tiger Woods. 

Mickelson will not be a playing member of the team for the first time after 12 consecutive appearances – a record for Team USA – dating back to 1995. He also holds the national record for four-ball points won (nine) and matches played (47). 

Although the 51-year-old became the oldest player in history to win a major at the US PGA Championship back in May, it was his only top-10 finish this year. 

Couples served as a vice-captain to Davis Love III in 2012 and made five appearances as a player, the last of which came in 1997. 

"I've been staying in close contact with both Freddie and Phil, talking about all things Ryder Cup, for a while now," Stricker said in a statement. 

"They provide honest and impactful feedback, and both have such a passion for the Ryder Cup. I'm honoured that they were willing to join our team and help put us in the best position to win in a few weeks at Whistling Straits."

The tournament, which was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is due to be played at Whistling Straits from September 24-26. 

"I'm humbled and honoured to be a part of this year's Ryder Cup as an assistant captain," Mickelson wrote on Twitter. 

"Thank you captain Stricker for including me and I hope to help in any way possible."

Graeme McDowell and Martin Kaymer have been appointed as vice-captains by Team Europe skipper Padraig Harrington for the Ryder Cup.

Both players bring a wealth experience to Harrington's backroom team for the rescheduled clash against the United States, which will take place at Whistling Straits in September – 12 months on from the original date that was scuppered by the coronavirus pandemic.

McDowell was also part of the set-up at Le Golf National in 2018, where Europe – led by Thomas Bjorn – hammered their American counterparts 17.5-10.5.

The Northern Irishman has featured four times as a player (2008, 2010, 2012, 2014), accumulating nine points from 15 matches – including claiming the winning point at Celtic Manor in 2010.

"I decided on Graeme as a vice-captain a long time ago. He was vice-captain in 2018 with me and I liked what he brought to the team room," Harrington said of the 2010 U.S. Open champion.

"He's quite an authority, confident in what he's doing and saying and knows the scene. The only reason he would not have been a vice-captain was if he was going to be a player.

"Graeme is a strong influence and the players look up to him. When he speaks, people listen, but he doesn't speak unless he's got something to say. I definitely saw that when he was vice-captain previously – players pay attention and follow him."

 

Kaymer too brings plenty of Ryder Cup experience to the table. The German has won 6.5 points from four appearances at the biennial tournament (2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016).

Undoubtedly his most famous contribution came when he sank the winning putt in 2012 to complete the "Miracle of Medinah", where Europe overturned a 10-6 deficit on the final day to retain the trophy.

Whistling Straits is also the scene of Kaymer's 2010 US PGA Championship triumph, which led to his debut in the Ryder Cup. 

"Martin is somebody I wanted as a vice-captain because he has a great personality and brings a calmness, a European element, and a lot of confidence with him," Harrington said of Kaymer, who also won the 2014 U.S. Open. 

"The fact that he won around Whistling Straits also brings that level of authority and assurance that you need.

"Martin will also bring a nice emotion to the team, which is very important. He's somebody who will help with the atmosphere, put an arm around a player or two and bring that level of authority and belief that we may need during the week."

 

Bernd Wiesberger set his sights on the Ryder Cup after retaining his Made in Himmerland title with a five-shot victory in Denmark. 

The Austrian, who led after each round, closed with a nerveless 64 to finish on 21 under and win his eighth European Tour event.

Guido Migliozzi's 63 on Sunday put him second on 16 under, as Richard Bland, Jordan Smith and Jason Scrivener were a stroke further back.

With four tournament triumphs since the start of the 2019 season, Wiesberger is primed to jump back into the top 50 in the world rankings.

That fine form makes him a strong contender to be included in Padraig Harrington's European team at Whistling Straits this year.

And a delighted Wiesberger is daring to dream of a debut in the team event after completing his first successful title defence.

"It's unbelievable," Wiesberger told the European Tour website. "I've had seven chances [to defend a title] – I wasn't successful the first six.

"I've said it all week, I really like it here. Playing here is good for my confidence especially after a couple of tougher weeks, so it's a special place for me.

"It brings out the best in me. I got it going when I needed to so really enjoyable."

On the possibility of earning a maiden outing at the Ryder Cup, he added: "There's a lot of golf to be played. First of all I really wanted to have a good week and start playing better golf again.

"This week really clicked for me, had a couple of good breaks on the way as well.

"[I've] got to keep playing good golf, but I would like to put my name in the vicinity of one of those spots.

"First things first, I need to play some more tournaments like this week and it will sort itself out."

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