Injury might have prevented him from making a ninth Ryder Cup appearance this week but Tiger Woods is still expected to contribute to the American cause at Whistling Straits.
The Telegraph is reporting that US captain Steve Stricker will call upon his good friend Woods to address his 12-man side – either in person or by video-link – as they prepare to do battle with Padraig Harrington’s Europeans.
Stricker is hoping that Woods’ influence will motivate his young side as they look to interrupt Europe’s recent dominance of the biennial event.
The men in blue and gold have won nine of the last 12 editions of the clash, including the most recent at Le Golf National in Paris in 2018.
Woods was part of the US side that was humbled in France but will play no part this time around as he continues to recover from injuries he sustained in a horror car crash in February. The 15-time major champion’s most recent competitive appearance was alongside son Charlie in the PNC Championship last December. He hasn’t played on tour since The Masters in November 2020.
The Telegraph report adds that Woods’ anticipated contribution this week will form part of a new, ‘low key’ approach from Stricker.
Several of his predecessors in the role have opted – with various degrees of success – at employing the services of President George W. Bush, Major Dan Rooney and others. However, it is believed Stricker is keen to keep the focus on golf at the expense of any and all themes of ‘war’.
Paul Azinger, the mastermind of the United States’ 2008 victory, said: “I’ve talked to Steve and he’s told me that he is going to eliminate the things that made him nervous as a Ryder Cup player – the inspirational videos and speakers and stuff like that – and he is just going to sell the message of preparation really hard and try to have an advantage on that course.
“He also said that Tiger has been on all the time with his observations. That is a neat guy to have in your corner.”
• The 43rd Ryder Cup gets underway this Friday, September 24. For full television details, click here.