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Tiger Woods out of Ryder Cup at Gleneagles
Tiger Woods has confirmed that he will not be making himself available for selection for next month’s Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.
Woods issued a statement which announced his decision to withdraw from the event, with the 14-time major winner having been advised by his medical team to take further time off from the game to allow his back more recovery following surgery in March.
Watson said on Monday he would definitely consider Tiger Woods in the US team, but stressed the player needed to be honest with him about his physical condition.
“I've been told by my doctors and trainer that my back muscles need to be rehabilitated and healed,” said Woods, who missed the cut by a distance at last week’s PGA Championship and appeared in frequent pain.
“They've advised me not to play or practice now. I was fortunate that my recent back injury was not related to my surgery and was muscular only.
“I have already spoken to Tom [Watson] about the Ryder Cup, and while I greatly appreciate his thinking about me for a possible captain's pick, I took myself out of consideration.
“The US 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.
“I plan to return to competition at my World Challenge tournament at Isleworth in Orlando, Florida, Dec. 1-7. It's an event that's important to me and my foundation, and it will be exciting to be playing again.”
Watson was understandably disappointed by Woods’ troubles, but was grateful to the Nike player for informing him in good time.
"My primary wish is for Tiger to be healthy and competitive, and I hope that he'll return to the game very soon," Watson said in a statement.
"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."
Nine players have qualified automatically for the American Ryder Cup team, with Watson set to name his three captain’s picks on September 2.
Those who have qualified already for the US Ryder Cup team include Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Jimmy Walker, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson and Phil Mickelson.
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