Monday, August 09, 2010

Can Tiger Afford To Sit Out The Ryder Cup?

Tiger Woods was right Sunday when he said he shouldn't be picked to be part of the U.S. Ryder Cup team if he's going to play like he did at Firestone last week -- where he couldn't have won the club championship the way he chopped it around there.

But can Tiger afford to take a pass on the Ryder Cup?

He looked at Firestone like a man disgusted with his game and disengaged from the competitive chase. Through all the years, he's never given up but he essentially surrendered Saturday afternoon when he basically walked from one lousy pitch shot to another on the 18th hole. Hard to blame him. If you play golf, you've been there.

Tiger said his game is not far from where it was in the late '90s when he was rebuilding his swing. Right now, it looks like I did in junior high shop class -- with a bunch of pieces but not sure how to fit them together.

Unless he surprises all of us, himself included, Tiger isn't likely to be a factor at the PGA Championship this week, which means he won't earn one of the eight automatic spots on the Ryder Cup team. That leaves it to captain Corey Pavin and Woods to decide if he'll be in Wales this fall.

I've always contended he belonged because he's Tiger and his game could come rushing back. Even with a dull edge, he's intimidating and imposing. But right now he looks lost and it's reasonable to ask if he should be picked for the team.

Given the bruises to his image already, can Woods turn down the chance to represent his country without being criticized for it? He's never been a big fan of the Ryder Cup, at least that's the feeling he gives off, but Woods understands what it means. You want a fifth major? It's the Ryder Cup.

For a change, Woods needs the Ryder Cup. It won't be all about him in Wales. It will be about playing with Steve Stricker and being in the team room. It's about the spirit of the thing and looking at Woods these days, it's apparent he needs something to change his spirit.


Anonymous said...

Ron, you're a nice guy, but you really need to write about something (or somebody) other than Tiger Woods.

JJW said...

Sorry, Ron. It's more like "Can Corey Pavin afford to risk a Ryder Cup pick on Tiger?" At the moment, the answer to that is a resounding "NO!" It might be different if Tiger dominated in his RC matches but his record is well below .500. Not to mention the baggage he'd bring to the team with the way he's just moping around the course nowadays.

Anonymous said...

The US's chances in the Ryder Cup is pretty slim already. It's not the purpose of the match to provide a rehab opportunity for Tiger. We need the guys who are playing well NOW....and Tiger is not among them. He will have another chance.

David said...

Tiger seems to be on a recovery course. I think he hit his low at Bridgestone. I see the transition to readying for the PGA and work to fix his golf ills on a better path, with Tiger actually being patient with his game. It probably won't be fixed in one week, but the golf swing is fickle that way. But some of it could be. Everyone has slumps, this one caused by Tiger's off course issues with family etc., and life balance leaking over to his game. But Tiger might find his game in time, and hopefully he plays his way into the lineup with a good showing at the PGA. But to keep off the best golfer in the world for the team, one who looks to be re-engaging, and who at the President Cup went 5-0 with Stricker as a partner? I think he should be there, especially given strength of European Team. Adding rookies as Captain picks who have limited experience playing overseas would also be a bad move. Let's see how Tiger improves at the PGA this week. I think he would be an asset to team, and may be what the team needs given his experience to beat the favored Europeans.