Tiger Woods has been forced to withdraw from possible selection for the upcoming Ryder Cup as he continues rehabilitation on his back injuries.
The 14-time major champion released a statement taking himself out of consideration for the 40th biennial contest and he now plans to return to action at the Chevron World Challenge, played at his home club Isleworth in December.
“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 at last week’s PGA Championship and appeared in pain over many of his shots.
“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.”
Woods was absent the last time the US team won the Ryder Cup, at Valhalla in 2008 under Paul Azinger.
This year’s US Captain Tom Watson was disappointed to receive the news, but was grateful to Woods 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.”