Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Why the Tiger Woods-Ryder Cup News Is Absolutely Absurd

As you may have heard on Tuesday, Corey Pavin, the captain of the United States Ryder Cup team, made a few comments about Tiger Woods. Basically, Pavin said Tiger isn't a shoo-in to be on the team (which he isn't right now, according to points), and will have to show something to make it either in points or as one of the four captain's picks.

Normally I am all for talk like this. It gives the golfer in question a chance to have some fire ignited under him, and allows the coach a chance an out in case the golfer went down or started playing crummy.

It's hogwash here, however. There is absolutely no way Tiger isn't going to be on this 2010 U.S. team. If he isn't, I'm fairly certain I'll boycott the matches.

Let's go over a few of the reasons why people are agreeing with Pavin.

The first argument is that Tiger doesn't have a spectacular Ryder Cup record. While that is true, not a lot of people in that stretch when the Americans were getting pounded year in and year out have a solid record. Everyone during that time sucked, but Tiger is still the guy that steps on the tee as the number one most intimidating guy in the game. Let's not forget that Tiger won six USGA match play events, and has been on the winning side of the Accenture Match Play three times since 2003. He is arguably one of the best match play golfers ever, and just because it hasn't translated in an event that comes around every two years doesn't mean he won't catch fire one week and lose zero matches.

Second, people (including Pavin) are saying he owes it to the team and the game to play well before the matches. Fair enough, but are we really all dumb enough to think Tiger will continue to play poorly? This is guy that gets motivated from stupid quotes about his weak equipment and from losers like Rory Sabbatini. If people are doubting his game when he actually plays a few events in a row, it just motivates him more. He will be playing fine by the Ryder Cup, or he will be out because of injury. Simple as that.

Lastly, do you really want to travel to Wales without Tiger on the airplane? He is the rock of the team, no matter his play coming in. He's the guy that, year in and year out, has played the best golf of anyone on tour, without a single person coming relatively close. He wins more times than the top golfers do combined. This is like saying the Yankees aren't planning on playing Alex Rodriquez in the playoffs because he struggled at the start of the season. Trust me, the Yanks want A-Rod, and the Yanks want Tiger (see what I did there).

Do me a favor if you still aren't convinced; go look at the list of Americans that would take Tiger's place. Ben Crane? Matt Kuchar? J.B. Holmes? Get serious. Tiger will be on the team. It isn't even worth discussing (so I apologize for taking up some of your time).


chris_villasenor said...

OK Shane. For all of Tiger's "earn it" talk that he ALWAYS gives, I think that it's appropriate for Pavin to give it back to him. Tiger can come back from whatever injury he's hiding this week, play some good golf and breeze onto the team. That's OK with me. But since his last two appearances are an MC and DNF, he can't be a automatic entry.

SWF said...

Well, the fact that he rocks at golf would be the main reason he should be on the team. But also, the intimidating factor is a good point too.

Kevin said...

Yeah, the team really struggled with JB Holmes instead of Tiger at Valhalla. AS we all know, marginal players often become Ryder cup heroes for a week.

Chances are great that Tiger will make the team on merit, but if he doesn't it would be interesting to see if Pavin picks him.

AppleDawg said...

If Tiger is not playing well and/or his injury is possibly still hurting him, why exactly would we put him in?

How did he hurt us by not playing in the Ryder Cup?

Why are we making exemptions for Woods who isn't even know as a great Ryder Cup player?

Do other players get such exemptions? If so, what are the rules for these exemptions?

Shane B. said...

Fair point, Kevin. The 2008 team looked good without Tiger, but you still want him in your corner, no matter the situation.

AppleDawg, you can't sit back and quote his "record" in Ryder Cups. In singles Tiger is 3-1-1, the only thing that totally "represents" how Tiger himself is playing. Just like you could complain about his record, you could complain about some of his pairings, captains, etc. I wish his record was better, but the guy's match play record stands for itself, and he eventually is going to have a Ryder Cup where he wins every match himself.