Tiger Woods Withdraws from Ryder Cup ConsiderationBy: Brian Powell - August 14, 2014
This year could not have been much worse for Tiger Woods. Woods started the year ranked No. 1 in the world, yet due to poor performances over the past eight months he has since dropped to No. 11. Woods has also had one of his worst years financially, only earning approximately $100,000 for his finishes at tournaments. Woods’s best finish on the year was 25th place at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral shortly before his back surgery in March. In his four tournaments since his surgery, Woods has failed to make the cut twice, withdrew early from another, and finished 69th at the British Open to mark his worst-ever finish at a major competition.
Perhaps it was due to all of these reasons that Woods decided to rescind his name from consideration for the 2014 United States Ryder Cup team. This will mark only the second time Woods has not been on the Ryder Cup team since his career began, with the other being in 2008.
In a statement released on his personal website, Woods cited his perpetual back issues as the reason for his deferment:
I’ve been told by my doctors and trainer that my back muscles need to be rehabilitated and healed. They’ve advised me not to play or practice now. I was fortunate that my recent back injury was not related to my surgery and was muscular only.
I have already spoken to Tom [Watson] about the Ryder Cup, and while I greatly appreciate his thinking about me for a possible captain’s pick, I took myself out of consideration. The U.S. team and the Ryder Cup mean too much to me not to be able to give it my best. I’ll be cheering for the U.S. team. I think we have an outstanding squad going into the matches.
I plan to return to competition at my World Challenge tournament at Isleworth in Orlando, Florida, Dec. 1-7. It’s an event that’s important to me and my foundation, and it will be exciting to be playing again.
The decision by Woods to remove himself from the pool of potential captain’s picks brings a huge sigh of relief to Ryder Cup captain, Tom Watson. Being the captain of the team means Watson gets the responsibility of choosing the last three Americans to make the team from those who did not qualify automatically. Unfortunately, Woods’s poor performances throughout the year left him on the outside-looking-in to the Ryder Cup team, leaving Watson with the ultimate quandary: Leave Woods off the team due to his back issues, or invite him to the team because he is arguably the best golfer in the world?
Fortunately, Woods answered the question for Watson.
Woods’s decision to not play golf again until December also comes with a hefty price. According to multiple sources, Woods will be missing out on a potential $8 million due to missed corporate appearances over the next four months.
The absence of Woods could spell success for Team USA, however. Since 1999, the American Ryder Cup team has only beaten the Europeans one time, in 2008. The irony? The last time Woods missed the cut for the Ryder Cup team was also 2008.
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