Tiger's struggles cast Ryder Cup participation in doubt

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Story highlights

  • Tiger Woods misses cut at PGA Championship
  • 14-time major winner cannot now automatically qualify for Ryder Cup
  • Woods has struggled with injury and form in 2014

It would have been unthinkable a matter of months ago, but could Tiger Woods be set to miss out on the 2014 Ryder Cup?

The 38-year old failed to make the cut at this weekend's PGA Championship at Valhalla and looked far from content as he struggled with a back injury.

Woods cannot now automatically qualify for the bi-annual matchup between Europe and the U.S. which will take place at Gleneagles in September and is relying on a wildcard pick from U.S. captain, Tom Watson, to have any chance of making the roster.

"It was sore. No doubt it was sore," Wood's said of the injury when asked by reporters Friday.

"(My body) was telling me on the range it probably wasn't a good idea, but I'm not exactly a non‑stubborn person."

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"I need to get stronger physically and be back to where I was."

Woods has missed out on much of the 2014 season with a separate back injury and has struggled for form since his return.

    He only just made the cut at the British Open in July and is currently ranked at No. 69 in the American standings.

    Only the top nine players automatically qualify for the Ryder Cup team with three captain's picks making up the full squad of 12.

    Woods won't be eligible for the FedEx Cup playoffs later this month meaning he will likely not play competitive golf before Watson announces his wildcards on September 2.

    Read: McIlroy sets pace at Valhalla

    Paul Azinger, who was widely praised for his Ryder Cup captaincy in a five-point win in 2008, said he would not pick Woods for this year's team.

    "I don't think I would," Azinger told the Golf Channel. "I don't see how you can take an injured player who is not playing well."

    "And also Tiger has not necessarily been the formula for success either. I just don't see how you can pick him at this point.

    "I am guessing he will call Tom and beg out of this and say I am not ready, make Tom's decision easier."

    Woods told reporters Friday he had not had any conversations about his participation with Watson.

    When asked of the 14-time major winner's chances later in the day, Watson said that Woods would only be picked if he is "free of injury and he is playing well."

    The U.S. team has already been weakened by Dustin Johnson's decision to take a break from the sport to seek "professional help" to deal with personal challenges.

    Johnson was ranked fifth in the American standings before his withdrawal and would almost certainly have qualified automatically.

    There was further worrying news for the U.S. earlier this week as two other likely automatic picks Matt Kuchner and Jason Duffner both withdrew from the PGA event with back and neck injuries respectively.

    "We're falling like flies right now, some of the players that are either on the borderline or on the team. That's a concern," Watson said.

    "(But) there's time for recovery and there's certainly a lot of golf to be played between now and September 2 when I make those three picks," he added.

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