Tiger Woods was unable to take part in the 2021 Ryder Cup as he recovers from the car crash he was involved in early this year, but the 15-time major champion’s presence was felt early on at Whistling Straits.
Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay had the most surprising performance of the morning foursomes on Friday, as the duo dominated Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter with a 5-and-3 win. Schauffele told the Golf Channel that he and Cantlay received advice from Woods on Thursday night and utilized it when the match was tied.
“We got a nice message from Tiger last night,” Schauffele said. “Obviously I’m not gonna reveal what it said, but Pat and I referred to it a few times today. We knew what needed to do. … We knew he was fist-pumping from the couch, whether he was on crutches or not he was as fired up as anyone back home. It’s nice to have his support.”
Cantlay, who like Schauffele is a Ryder Cup rookie, said he met with Tiger recently to discuss what it’s like playing in the event.
“There’s no better role model, no better leader. He’s just somebody you can learn from,” Cantlay said. “I saw him last week at home and just picked his brain on the Ryder Cup and applied some of that today.”
Tiger was in a serious car crash back in February. He had multiple leg fractures and damage to his feet and ankles. There were initially questions about whether he would ever golf again, but U.S. Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker offered a promising update on Woods’ condition this week.