Watson hopeful over Tiger

Tom Watson expects to make Tiger Woods one of his captain’s picks for the United States Ryder Cup team provided he is fit and playing well.

The 14-time major champion returned to competition in last week's Quicken Loans National after three months out of action following surgery on his back.

The tournament host was clearly out of sorts as he missed the cut at Congressional, with his lack of touch on and around the greens a particular area of concern.

But he is expected to compete in the Open Championship at Hoylake later this month, and will then have around seven weeks to prove his form and fitness for the contest at Gleneagles.

Watson told the Golf Channel: "He'll be considered less of a pick then if he didn't have a track record going into the Ryder Cup, of course.

"He'd be the first to tell you, 'I haven't been playing'. Like I said, how he's been playing and if he's healthy, those are the two factors that I'll weigh in choosing.

"That's just common sense, in my opinion."

Watson also believes the top six players in the current standings have already done enough to be on the plane to Scotland in September.

Masters champion Bubba Watson tops the points list ahead of Jimmy Walker, Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth and Jim Furyk.

Watson added: "The players right now who are probably going to make it - you look at the list right here, you probably go all the way down to Jim Furyk, the top six. Those six will probably make the team.

"Things could happen where that could change, but you look a that. Then you have got 500 points difference between Jim Furyk and (seventh-placed) Rickie Fowler, and that's where it gets a little bit tight."