• Sat
  • Dec 20, 2014
  • Updated: 11:13am
SportGolf
Ryder Cup

Tiger Woods asks not to be picked for US Ryder Cup team

American star is still struggling with back problem and asks captain Tom Watson not to consider him for wildcard spot

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 August, 2014, 10:21am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 August, 2014, 10:21am

Tiger Woods ruled himself out of contention for a wildcard spot on the US Ryder Cup team due to lingering back problems on Wednesday and has been told by doctors not to play or practise until his condition improves, the former world number one said.

Woods, who had surgery in March to treat a pinched nerve and has played just eight tournaments this year, asked US captain Tom Watson not to consider him for one of three wildcard picks for the biennial team competition against Europe next month.

Watson will announce his three picks on September 2 to complete his 12-man team to take on holders Europe at Gleneagles in Scotland from September 26-28.

“While I greatly appreciate Tom thinking about me for a possible captain’s pick, I must take myself out of consideration,” Woods said in a statement.

“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 practise now. I’m extremely disappointed that I won’t be ready for the competition.

“The US 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 US team. I think we have an outstanding squad going into the matches.”

Woods, a 14-times major winner, said on his official website that he planned to return to competition for the December 4-7 World Challenge tournament which he hosts, to be played this year in Orlando, Florida.

“It’s an event that’s important to me and my foundation, and it will be exciting to be playing again,” he said. “I was fortunate that my recent back injury was not related to my surgery and was muscular only.”

The US team and the Ryder Cup mean too much to me not to be able to give it my best
Tiger Woods

Woods has struggled for form since recovering from back surgery in late March and missed the cut at last week’s PGA Championship, only the fourth missed cut of his professional career in a major.

Though he had pronounced himself fit to compete in the year’s final major after recovering from back spasms that forced him to withdraw from the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational the previous week, he looked rusty and out-of-sorts in both rounds.

“My primary wish is for Tiger to be healthy and competitive, and I hope that he’ll return to the game very soon,” Watson said in a statement.

“Of course, I’m disappointed that Tiger Woods has asked not to be considered for the US Ryder Cup team, and that his health is not where he would like it to be.

“However, I think we can all agree that we need Tiger Woods in this great sport, and he has taken the high road by informing me early on in the selection process.”

The nine players confirmed as automatic selections after last week’s PGA Championship were Masters champion Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Jimmy Walker, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed and Zach Johnson.

The Americans will be bidding to end a run of seven losses against Europe in the last nine Ryder Cups, their most recent victory coming in 2008 under the captaincy of Paul Azinger when Woods was absent.

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