Posted September 28, 2012 on
AP on Fox
Tiger Woods has been dropped for the first time at a Ryder Cup, after U.S. captain Davis Love III elected to leave him out of Saturday's foursomes.
Woods had played every possible match since making his debut in 1997. He did not play in 2008 while recovering from knee surgery, and he only played four matches in Wales two years ago because the matches were reconfigured due to rain.
Love had said all week he didn't want players to be in all five matches so they could conserve energy for the singles on Sunday.
Woods played poorly in a foursomes loss Friday morning, and might have wished he'd been left out then instead of Saturday morning.
In the afternoon, he played much better but still came out on the losing end as he and Steve Stricker could not match a superb effort by Nicolas Colsaerts.
A 12-footer that scraped the left edge of the cup on the final hole left Woods bent over in agony, a big loser again on the first day of the Ryder Cup. With it, a European team beaten badly in every other afternoon match suddenly had some hope for the weekend.
But Love said the decision to keep Woods out on Saturday did not arise from his performance on Friday, but was a long time in the making.
''We just felt like we didn't want anybody to play five matches on this golf course,'' Love said.
It goes down in the books as two losses in two matches for Woods and playing partner Stricker. But the difference in the two rounds was night and day.
Woods nearly hit his opening tee shot out of bounds, hit a fan on the seventh hole, and struggled in the morning alternate shot matches. Then he went out and made seven birdies in better ball, only to be beaten by a Belgian who couldn't miss.
Almost unbelievably, for the fourth time in seven Ryder Cups for Woods, he left the course on the first day without a point to show for it.
''I drove it great this afternoon and was in position,'' Woods said, ''but we ran into a guy who just made absolutely everything.''
''Nicolas had one of the greatest putting rounds ever,'' Woods said. ''There weren't too many putts that he missed.''
One Colsaerts did miss was a 30-footer on the final hole that he cozied up to the hole for a par. With players from both teams standing next to the green watching, Woods had 12 feet for birdie to get the U.S. team a tie and a half point.
He thought he, but the putt lipped out on the left. And for a few seconds, at least, Woods struggled to control his emotions.
''We had a chance to all square on the last hole, and I missed it,'' Woods said.
That Woods would be the center of attention on the opening day wasn't surprising, despite Rory McIlroy having taken over as the No. 1 player in the world. That he would play so badly in the morning match was, since his game had been good for the last month or so in the PGA Tour playoffs.
He was teamed with Stricker in the morning, too, against Ian Poulter and Justin Rose, who took the lead with a birdie on the fourth hole and never surrendered it. Woods and Stricker made more bogeys than birdies, and Poulter made a clutch putt on the 16th hole on the way to a 2 and 1 win for Europe.
Woods said a quick talk with swing coach Sean Foley between rounds helped him turn his game around, even though the U.S. didn't get a point to show for it. That was largely due to Colsaerts and Stricker, who didn't make a birdie of his own past the seventh hole.
Woods nearly pulled off the match by himself, making a curling downhill 25-footer on 16 to get the Americans within a hole, then stiffing his tee shot on the par-3 17 after Stricker had put it in the water.
The losses dropped Woods to just 13 wins from 31 matches in Ryder Cup play, and nine of 25 when he has played with a partner. He has only played on one winning Ryder Cup team, the 1999 team that came back to win on the final day.
BEST OF MAXIM
Tiger Woods got a favorable 40-yard bounce off the head of a fan during the morning matches on the opening day of the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club.
The unlucky young man was hit on his head while watching Woods drive on the seventh hole during the golfer's morning foursome Friday morning.
Woods was steered to the dazed fan by his caddie, Joe Lacava. The fan...
For the first time in his career, Tiger Woods will be on the bench at the Ryder Cup.
U.S. captain Davis Love III has decided not to play Woods in the Saturday morning session of foursomes. Woods had played every match since making his debut at Valderrama in 1997. He did not play in the 2008 matches while recovering from knee surgery, and he only played four matches in Wales two...
Tiger Woods has had a rough weekend at Medinah. Tiger has never been a great Ryder Cup player and this really isn’t new, but again like every other bad finish this year it seems bigger.
Woods has lost 3 points in 4 of his 6 Ryder Cup appearances. He and Steve Stricker were 0-3 through the first 2 days with only the individual matches left. Tiger actually played really well in...
Tiger Woods played so poorly losing his first match, Davis Love III might have been tempted to sit him down Friday afternoon in the Ryder Cup.
The way Woods' day ended encircled by thousands of fans in the dusk at Medinah Country Club, he might have wished Love had.
A 12-footer that scraped the left edge of the cup on the final hole left Woods bent over in agony, a big loser...
What is the Ryder Cup? Well, in layman’s terms, the Ryder Cup is a biennial golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States. The competition is jointly administered by the PGA of America and the PGA European Tour, and is contested every two years, the venue alternating between courses in the United States and Europe. The Ryder Cup is also the name of the trophy...
Tiger Woods, benched. Imagine that. We keep waiting for the greatness to come back, and the Ryder Cup this weekend is the perfect place for glory to be restored, flags waving. It's just a matter of time, right?
Woods is just so messed up now, playing golf like someone trying to learn how to dance with paper feet cutouts on the ground, stepping too carefully, afraid of missing...
Tiger Woods finally showed up at the Ryder Cup.
Too bad it wasn't soon enough to count.
Woods and Steve Stricker lost their third straight match Saturday, falling 1 up to Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald despite a furious back-nine rally by the world's No. 2 player.
Down 4 at the turn, Woods made four birdies on the last six holes to give the Americans a chance to salvage...
It is unclear whether Tiger Woods really wanted to become a Navy Seal, but certain is that he played Army golf Friday morning: left-right, left-right.
Woods and partner Steve Stricker struggled early and often in losing, 2 and 1, to Englishmen Ian Poulter and Justin Rose in the opening foursomes session. Woods hooked the first drive way left by fence near a hospitality tent, and...
Track Tiger Woods during Day 1 at the Ryder Cup.
The best players don't always make the best partners in the Ryder Cup.
It worked for Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, not so much for Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. U.S. captain Hal Sutton made partners out of Woods and Mickelson, rivals on and off the golf course, and the experiment failed miserably as they lost both matches. Overlooked was the fact that Woods was in the middle...
This week's AA Podcast is all about this weekend's Ryder Cup as we welcome Dan Hicks, who will call the weekend action from Medinah. Dan is the play by play man for NBC's golf coverage and also called swimming at the London Olympics. He chats with AA about calling both events and other topics including...
-The adjustments working with Rowdy Gaines and...