Tiger Woods does US a favour and pulls out of Ryder Cup
Woods sidelined with more back problems, but his absence saves Tom Watson a tough decision
Tiger Woods will not be play for the US in next month's Ryder Cup after making himself unavailable for selection because of a back injury. Woods had surgery in March but has struggled for form since making his comeback.
"Having played just four tournaments on his return to action following back surgery, and after missing the cut by five shots at the PGA Championship in the wake of his worst 72-hole finish as a professional at the Open last month, Woods informed [Tom] Watson and the PGA of America that he does not wish to be considered for one of the three remaining places," says The Times.
In a statement Woods said his doctors had told him that his "back muscles need to be rehabilitated and healed". He added: "They've advised me not to play or practice now."
"By making this decision, Tiger has put the US Ryder Cup team and his health first," said PGA President Ted Bishop.
Earlier this month Woods was forced to pull out of the Bridgestone Invitational with back spasms and his poor showing at the PGA Championship meant he failed to secure an automatic place in the Ryder Cup team. However, he was in the running for one of the wildcard places.
With the issue dominating the headlines, Watson "may now be relieved that the decision has been taken out of his hands", says The Times.
Out-of-form Woods has done the US team a "big favour" by making himself unavailable, argues Iain Carter of the BBC. "Skipper Tom Watson has been spared a difficult decision, one that could easily have undermined the US effort to regain the trophy," he explains. "The uncertainty over whether Woods would receive a wildcard was already starting to have a corrosive effect on the captain's authority."
But the news is still a "blow", says The Guardian, as Woods has a "wealth of experience" in the competition. And the US are already without Dustin Johnson, who has taken a break from the game, while Matt Kuchar and Jason Dufner both suffered injuries at the PGA Championship.
Woods is expected to be out of action until December. ·