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Tiger Woods, whose injury-filled season a year ago kept him out of the playoffs, returns to the Deutsche Bank Championship. He won on the TPC Boston in 2006, the year before the FedEx Cup began. Woods fell to No. 3 in the standings because of a dismal weekend at Bethpage, and because players are grouped by their FedEx Cup seeding, he will play the opening two rounds with Watney and Brandt Snedeker, another Ryder Cup possibility.

Woods has talked to Love about the potential picks, and he has an idea what kind of player the captain is considering. But he’s not saying, except for the idea that having too many guys from whom to choose is not the worst thing.

“It’s nice that we have some depth, and we have some young talent out there to choose from, and we have some guys that are playing well, too, which is great,” he said.

Woods pointed out that Paul Azinger came up with this model of waiting three weeks for the captain to make his picks, allowing players extra time to show their form.

“It can give guys an opportunity to play well in big events — two playoff events — but it also showcases guys who are hot, and that’s the whole idea is to get guys that are hot,” Woods said. “That’s the thing that basically Davis and I have been talking about. And I’m sure we’ll continue to talk.”

It’s also given some players time to break into a cold sweat.

Mahan looked to be on the team all year, especially after winning the Match Play Championship and the Houston Open, moving up to No. 4 in the world and making him the highest-ranked American. He has only had one top 10 since then, however, narrowly missed out on earning on the eight qualifying spots after the PGA Championship and didn’t do himself any favors by missing the cut at The Barclays.

“The last couple of weeks, I’ve tried not to think about it. I’ve tried to relax and play, and I don’t feel that’s me,” he said. “I need to accept it and get excited about it. I do have a chance to make the team. I need to be a little more aggressive with it, relish the opportunity and not hide from it. It’s there. It’s going to take energy for me not to think about. Hey, I’d rather be in the mix for the Ryder Cup than not.”