The Ryder Cup will be without the presence of Tiger Woods but the legendary golfer may still have a crucial role to play for team USA.
The 15-time major championship winner participated in the event on eight occasions throughout his career. Despite his stellar major championship record, however, the American was only on the victorious team on one occasion in the Ryder Cup as a player.
He last played in the biennial contest in 2018 in Paris, but his playing career has been hugely affected by a life-changing car crash back in 2021.
Since then, Woods has featured in only a handful of professional golf events. Most recently, the 47-year-old played at The Masters in April before withdrawing midway through his third round due to injury.
The American underwent ankle surgery later that month and despite being videoed hitting balls at a driving range recently, he will not make the trip over to Rome for this week’s competition.
‘Tiger will not be joining us in Italy. He’s got a lot on his plate,’ US Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson.
‘As far as conferring with him, communicating with him, I mean, we have up to this point, but he understands that now that our feet are on the ground, it’s probably kind of best that we navigate this ourselves.’
Despite his lack of presence on the ground, Johnson revealed that Woods still has a crucial role to play in helping the US team try to win their first Ryder Cup in Europe since 1993.
‘But he’s always in our inner corner, and at this point it’s more encouragement on his side, whether he’s texting the guys or texting the vice captains and captains,’ Johnson added.
‘He’s there to encourage because he’s very invested in what we do year-in and year-out with Team USA, and that has never ceased and I’m grateful for that.
‘I mean, he’s the best player of our generation. Thankfully, he’s an American. We are going to utilize his knowledge and his wisdom and his candour and his passion the best we can.’
The Ryder Cup gets under way in Rome on Friday. Europe are looking to regain the trophy after their comprehensive 19-9 defeat in America last time out in 2021.
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