It hasn’t been a very good year for Tiger Woods in 2014 – injuries and simply playing badly, before and after his back surgery. While Tom Watson wanted to keep him in consideration, the biggest name in Golf has taken himself out of the running.
Woods has played very poorly in the two majors and four tournaments overall since coming off his surgery. He even bowed out of the Bridgestone Invitational. Woods has said that he’s going to be out of the competition in general until December, when he’ll make his comeback at Isleworth in Orlando with the World Challenge to play in. It means Woods is going to miss some exhibition events in Asia and a team even in Argentina two months from now, which also means losing out on a lot of money, not that it’s any concern to someone who has been the highest paid athlete in the world for most of the last 10-15 years.
In terms of ability, there’s nothing Woods has shown this season that makes him eligible for the team. His influence and past make him worthy of consideration, and maybe Watson would have used one of his three captain picks to make Woods part of the team, joining one of the nine players who qualified automatically thanks to their achievements, which includes Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Jimmy Walker and Phil Mickelson.
Woods has been on seven Ryder Cup teams for the USA, with only one victory (1999). He missed out on the 2008 win because of knee surgery. Overall, his record in the Ryder Cup is 13-17-3, with a 4-1-2 singles record. Woods didn’t look healthy in the PGA Championship, not making the cut, and has gone through his worst year on the PGA Tour, never finishing higher than a 25th place at Doral.
While I greatly appreciate Tom thinking about me for a possible captain’s pick, I must take myself out of consideration. 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’m extremely disappointed that I won’t be ready for the competition. 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 need to get stronger. As I said the other day, I need to get my glutes strong again, my abs and my core back to where I used to have them. They are just not quite there yet. Obviously by playing you can’t burn the candle at both ends. I need to get stronger physically and be back to where I was.