Tiger Woods has not only had a bad season this year. He has had an absolute horrible season.
Not only has he been playing bad golf, but he has also been injured. Oh yeah, he has also had to deal with the fact that he is no longer the best player in the sport, and it is no longer his era.
His best finish? Second place at the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge, but that came way back in December, so technically last year. His best finish since the calendar page turned over another year? 25th at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship. His best finish at a major? 69th at the Open Championship. He played in one other major and missed the cut (PGA Championship).
Tiger Woods has not been Tiger Woods. Tom Watson’s decision on whether if he should choose him or not to be part of the Ryder Cup team should be a no-brainer. Tiger isn’t even playing like a top-100 player. His game, and health, would suggest that he doesn’t get his spot on the team this year.
This is Tiger Woods, though. We aren’t talking about any other player. We are talking about arguably the best player to ever tee up a golf ball.
He has won 14 majors, second only to Jack Nicklaus. He has won 79 PGA tournaments, second only to Sam Snead. Just last year, he won the Player of the Year and captured five tournaments in the process.
To say Watson has a tough decision to make is a complete understatement. You can’t just call up Tiger and tell him, “Hey, Tiger. This year, you just aren’t Ryder Cup material.” I don’t care if the president of the United States himself is making that call, it just doesn’t happen.
Woods is a man who won the 1997 Masters by 12 strokes. He won the 2000 U.S. Open by 15. He, at one point, won all four majors in a row. It may be the “Rory McIlroy era” but there will never be another player who is as dominating as Tiger was in his prime. Never.
Tiger’s back could probably use the break, his swing could use some work and his mental game does not seem to be as strong as it used to be, but this is Tiger.
Until the day he calls it a career, he will always have the Tiger Effect out on the golf course. He will always have the mindset that he is going to win, even if he hasn’t played in a year. That’s Tiger, though.
No matter which way Captain Watson is leaning towards at this point in time, if Tiger is healthy, he should make the team. He isn’t some kid who gets picked last for the dodge ball team in gym class.
He is Tiger Woods. And he deserves a place in the Ryder Cup this year.