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United States captain Davis Love III wants Tiger Woods to be part of his American team for the Ryder Cup later this year.
Woods will be at Hazeltine for the biennial clash with Europe after being named as one of Love's vice-captains for the tournament but the 14-time major winning is hoping to play in the event.
Having not played competitively since undergoing surgery on his back in October last year, time is running out for Woods to prove his fitness, but Love believes he could spring a surprise and play his way into the team.
"[Tiger] keeps telling me I am going to be the first playing assistant captain. He wants to be on the team playing, not driving a golf cart, so I expect if he gets healthy he's going to make a good run for it. I wouldn't bet against Tiger Woods in anything," Love said.
"If he can get out and play 10 or 15 tournaments - which will be a lot after what he has been through - I think he can make the team, and we would love to have him.
"If everybody on the team says 'we want Tiger Woods', you don't go without him. If everybody on the team says 'I don't know, I think he's hurt', you know the group will make the decision."
Woods is keeping his options open by registering for the US Open, while he played five holes with Mark O'Meara at Bluejack National Golf Club in Texas on Monday.
"Tiger, I think at this point in his career, he knows what he is capable of. He will come and say 'my back's not ready, I'm not going to make it', or he will come and say 'I'm ready to go if you want me'," Love added.
Woods has only been part of one Ryder Cup victory, while he has just 13 wins in his 33 matches, but Love believes he will bring a lot to the team.
"Tiger Woods is the captain on the course. He can be a leader - we need Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods types," the captain explained. "I want him on the team either way because he's a great influence. He obviously brings a lot of incredible passion to our team and confidence.
"Tiger doesn't have to be in the top eight or 10 in the points to make the team. He just needs to be playing and playing well and he will know - as an assistant captain I guess he will get a vote - if he's ready.
"We will know if he's ready and we'd love to have him because he brings an aura with him to our team, that we really need."