Tiger Woods has pulled his name out of consideration for a Ryder Cup captain's pick, the PGA of America announced on Wednesday.
Woods informed the PGA of America and American captain Tom Watson that he didn't want to be picked for next month's matches against Europe because of ongoing back issues that Woods has struggled through for most of 2014.
“While I greatly appreciate Tom thinking about me for a possible Captain’s Pick, I must take myself out of consideration,” Woods said in the release. “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."
The automatic qualifiers for the American team are already set, with Watson still needing to pick three players on September 2, and some thought if Woods was healthy, he might be a choice.
But as we've seen for most of this season, Tiger's back issues continue to flare up, and after struggling to a missed cut at the PGA Championship at Valhalla, a lot hoped Woods would shut it down for the rest of the season and get healthy.
Watson spoke about Tiger's decision to pull himself out of the running, and what he now has to focus on moving forward.
“My primary wish is for Tiger to be healthy and competitive, and I hope that he’ll return to the game very soon,” said Watson, in the release. “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.”
The "focus" Watson talks about is on what players he can pick, with Dustin Johnson pulling out, Jason Dufner suffering through back spasms and withdrawing from the PGA Championship and Matt Kuchar also pulling out before the PGA began because of health issues.
On paper, the Americans continue to be the underdogs at Gleneagles, but if there is any silver lining in this at all, it's that the only United States victory in the last six Ryder Cups came when Woods was also off the team because of injury back in 2008.
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