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Tiger Takes Name off Ryder Cup List
Tiger Woods has removed his name for consideration on the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup team. On Wednesday Woods notified team captain Tom Watson that, because of his ongoing back problems, he won't be able to play in the biennial match against Europe, slated for September 26-28 at Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland.
Woods never quite fully recovered from back surgery in late March. He's played only played eight times this season. He missed the cut in the Quicken Loans Invitational in late June, his first tournament back on the PGA Tour, finished 69th in the Open Championship, and withdrew midway through the final round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone - a place where he's won eight times - because of his balky back.
Last week in the PGA Championship, he was in obvious pain on occasion, but forged on at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville. But the 14-time major champion carded a pair of 3-over 74s and missed the cut.
Despite Woods' lack of tournament competition and poor results, Watson said as late as last Monday that he'd still be considered as one of his three captain's picks. That's all moot now as Woods has decided to remove his name from the list.
"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 released Wednesday by the PGA of America, which oversees the Ryder Cup with the European Tour.
"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."
In response, Watson said in a release: "My primary wish is for Tiger to be healthy and competitive, and I hope that he'll return to the game very soon. Of course, I'm disappointed that Tiger Woods has asked not to be considered for the U.S. 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. My focus will remain on identifying three players to join the U.S. team and give us the best chance for success at Gleneagles."
On his website, Woods said he's hoping to return to competition in December for the World Challenge event in Orlando; the tournament benefits his foundation.
Woods appeared on seven U.S. Ryder Cup teams between 1997 and 2012. Nine automatic berths on the U.S. team were secured following the PGA Championship. The qualifiers include: Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Jimmy Walker, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed and Zach Johnson.
With Woods out of the picture, among Watson's choices for captain's picks are Keegan Bradley, Brandt Snedeker, Webb Simpson, assistant captain Steve Stricker, Ryan Moore, Brendon Todd and Chris Kirk.
For a look at the current Team USA points' standings, visit http://www.rydercup.com/usa/2014/team/usa-ryder-cup-points-list?atrack=hp_navigation_5.