September 25 2012
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
MEDINAH, Ill. -- Tiger Woods has played in six Ryder Cups and so far he has only celebrated one U.S. victory.
The improbable rally at Brookline, where the Americans outscored Europe 8 1/2 to 3 1/2 on Sunday, is something Woods says he will "never, ever" forget.
"I've never been a part of anything like that," said Woods, who contributed three points to the U.S. cause that week, including a win over Andrew Coltart on that seminal Sunday. "Never seen a comeback like that in golf, in a team atmosphere."
At the same time, Woods is well aware he has a losing Ryder Cup record at 13-14-2 overall -- and in Four-ball and Foursome competition, the former world No. 1's mark drops to 9-13-1.
There are many theories why Woods hasn't dominated at the Ryder Cup -- except in Singles, where he is 4-1-1 -- like he has in winning 14 majors.
For instance, Woods, like Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk, who also clock in with losing marks in the biennial competition, simply has played more matches than others. He's had 12 different partners during that time, as well, and with five U.S. losses, maybe the team simply wasn't at its peak.
Woods was quick to share accountability for the American defeats on Tuesday.
"Certainly I am responsible for that, because I didn't earn the points that I was put out there for," Woods said. "I believe I was out there, what, in five sessions each time, and I didn't go 5‑0 on our side. So I certainly am a part of that, and that's part of being a team. I needed to go get my points for my team, and I didn't do that.
"Hopefully I can do that this week, and hopefully the other guys can do the same and we can get this thing rolling."
Furyk, who has partnered Woods to two wins and two losses, understands why Woods is held to such a high standard.
"I think with as dominant as he was through most of those years, I think anyone would be a little surprised to see a .500 (record)," Furyk said. "But also ... no one has an extremely good record on our team, would be my guess, and that would be because we haven't won a lot of these matches.
“If we all had a 75 percent winning percentage, we would be 5‑2 rather than 2‑5 (over the last seven matches).“
Furyk said he’d be more interested in knowing what Woods’ record in Singles is. Told it was 4-1-1, Furyk smiled. “So, yeah, that's probably the rest of our fault then; how's that? There's my theory,” he said.
U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love pointed out that a lot of great players don't have winning Ryder Cup records. He's a 20-time winner on the PGA TOUR, including the 1997 PGA Championship, and his own is 9-12-5. He's 2-1 with Woods as a partner "so I'm part of his problem," Love joked.
Sometimes the problem is as simple as running into the red-hot player at the wrong time. So Love doesn’t plan to overanalyze his choices this week.
"I think it's tough to win, first of all," the U.S. captain said. "Tiger can play great and his partner not play well, or the other team play extremely well. I think there's probably a lot of times in a lot of match‑play tournaments where it's just a matter of who you're up against. …
"I kind of throw the Jim Furyk or the Phil Mickelson or Tiger Woods record of wins and losses out. You just ask them, what do you like better, alternate‑shot or best‑ball, or who do you want to play with? There's a reason why these guys keep making teams, and I don't look a whole lot at the record."