It could be considered a pre-emptive move to save face by Tiger Woods. Tom Watson was not going to choose him to be on this year’s Ryder Cup team. Woods had not earned his way on the team with his play and did not display that he was healthy enough to hold up in the intense competition.
But Woods came out Wednesday as a clearly beaten politician would, announcing he was withdrawing his name from consideration when all signs pointed to him not earning a position.
“While I greatly appreciate Tom thinking about me for a possible captain’s pick, I must take myself out of consideration,” Woods said. “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.”
Watson would have been lambasted if he had selected Woods, who said on his website that he would not compete again until the World Challenge set for Dec. 4-7 at Isleworth in Orlando, the annual tournament that benefits his foundation and is moving to Florida from California.
At the same time, Woods will pass on an October team event in Argentina along with Matt Kuchar–one where he was expected to receive a hefty appearance fee — along with other corporate exhibitions in Asia in November, said Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg.
“We all saw that he was in pain,” Steinberg said. “To me, the good news is that the residual effect of him playing the last few weeks has been muscular and not directly related to the surgical procedure that was done.
“He’s going to come back at the World Challenge and we’ll take it from there. He needs this time to rest and rehabilitate.”