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U.S. Ryder Cup team could be without Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson

CHASKA, Minn. – The PGA of America has altered its approach to the Ryder Cup with the tournament returning to the U.S. in 2016 at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota.

Perhaps the biggest change could be a team without Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

Captain Davis Love III said it’s hard to envision a U.S. team without Woods or Mickelson, but the two are no longer certainties as the Americans try to solve the European stranglehold on the Ryder Cup.

Woods is ranked 299th in the world and recently underwent another back surgery. Mickelson is ranked 23rd, but hasn’t won since the British Open in 2013.

“It would be hard to imagine,” Love said Tuesday at a year-out press conference at Hazeltine. “They’re all my teammates that I’ve played with. We’re all getting older.”

The 2016 Ryder Cup is Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 at Hazeltine in suburban Chaska, the site of the PGA Championship in 2002 and 2009.

Europe extended its dominance with a win in 2014 at Gleneagles.

The U.S. has won the cup four times since 1985. Woods and Mickelson have been mainstays on those teams. Mickelson’s first Ryder Cup appearance was in 1995, followed by Woods’ debut in 1997.

Woods’ recent back surgery ended his 2015 season. Mickelson was chosen for the upcoming President’s Cup by captain Jay Haas, despite lacking the points to qualify.


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