x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Woods unsure he would have helped US at Ryder Cup

Former world No 1 says he does not plan to pick up his clubs for another month

Tiger Woods winces after his tee shot on the sixth hole during the second round of the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, on August 8, 2014. Jeff Roberson / AP Photo
Tiger Woods winces after his tee shot on the sixth hole during the second round of the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, on August 8, 2014. Jeff Roberson / AP Photo

Tiger Woods made himself unavailable for the United States Ryder Cup team because he did not think he could win a point in the matches, the former world No 1 said on Tuesday.

The American, 38, was sidelined for three months after he had back surgery in March. He has continued to have problems since returning to the game and has struggled to regain his full fitness.

His form this year would have left him relying on a wild-card pick from captain Tom Watson for next month’s matches against holders Europe at Gleneagles in Scotland, but he pulled out of contention last week.

“I wouldn’t be ready – and I just couldn’t help the team,” Woods said on Britain’s Sky Sports.

“When your name is called you have to be able to go out there and get a point and I just didn’t feel I could be ready enough to get a point.

“It was time to shut it down, get stronger, get more explosive again and get back for next year.”

Woods, who has slipped to No 11 in the world rankings, missed the cut at the PGA Championship this month, having made a late decision to play after pulling out of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational the week before because of the problems with his back.

He is not planning to pick up his clubs for a month but will work in the gym as he builds towards a return at the World Challenge tournament in Florida in the first week of December, an event he hosts.

“We’ve got it all calmed down, now it’s about the strengthening process,” Woods said.

“I probably won’t be swinging a club for another month but just getting stronger each and every day. I’m in the gym two or three times a day.

“I’ve got my physios, I’ve got my trainers there so we’re working hard and then we’re going to introduce dynamic training again, my explosiveness, but that’s down the road. Let’s just get this thing stronger first.”

Woods, who has won 14 majors, has played in the Ryder Cup seven times between 1997 and 2012, missing the US victory in 2008, the last time the US triumphed in the event, as a consequence of knee surgery.

Europe have won seven of the past nine stagings of the competition, including the most recent in 2012 at Medinah Country Club in Illinois.

This year’s competition at Gleneagles takes place from September 26-28.

sports@thenational.ae

Follow us on Twitter at @SprtNationalUAE