Ryder Cup: Tiger Woods' withdrawal a relief to US captain Tom Watson, says Andrew Coltart

'Woods' lack of teamwork may have been a hindrance'

By Andrew Coltart.   Last Updated: 14/08/14 2:15pm

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Tiger Woods missed the cut last week at Valhalla

Tiger Woods missed the cut last week at Valhalla

Tiger Woods’ Ryder Cup withdrawal has 'taken a big headache away from the captain Tom Watson', according to Sky Sports pundit Andrew Coltart.

Woods ended speculation about his selection for Gleneagles by withdrawing himself from consideration on Wednesday night to fully recover from a troublesome back injury.

Coltart believes the US captain Watson will be relieved that Woods has taken the decision into his own hands.

“Tiger, through the doctor’s orders, has decided to withdraw himself and it’s a big relief to Tom Watson,” Coltart told Sky Sports News HQ.

“It’s not really surprising but it’s taken a big headache away from the captain. There’s no doubt about that.

“He’s been playing the ‘I’ll pick him if he’s fit’ game for a while because he’s probably just trying to keep commercial interest in the event as high as he possibly can. Tiger is obviously still a huge player in world golf.”

Ego

Woods missed the cut last week at the PGA Championship at Valhalla and has missed two major championships this year due to injury. He was also absent in 2008 in Valhalla when America last won the Ryder Cup.

Coltart, the Team Europe representative who played Woods in the 1999 event, continued: “Physically he’s obviously not 100 percent, but also mentally he’s not been 100 percent.

“It’s been well documented that there’s certain egos in the team. The team doesn’t necessarily come together that well and I don’t know if that’s solely to do with Tiger.

“The facts remain that in the only team that managed to win, Tiger was absent.”

"It’s been well documented that there’s certain egos in the team. The team doesn’t necessarily come together that well and I don’t know if that’s solely to do with Tiger."
Andrew Coltart

Underdogs

Coltart thinks that Europe’s favourites tag coupled with the change in format means America can play without pressure – but must match Europe’s team togetherness.

“USA are going into this as underdogs, that’s historically not how it’s been in the past,” he said.

“The format is completely different – it’s match-play and psychologically that can be completely different. You’ve just got to play against the one opponent or two in the foursomes and four-balls, and beat them in 18 holes.

“So it’s a completely different dynamic to the stroke play event that the players play. [America] might feel like a little bit of a wounded animal themselves and pull together to pull off potentially another Valhalla – but it’s going to be a big task.

“There’s a lot of individual players there in America. The European players historically seem to love playing as a team.

“Sergio Garcia is a great team man, Ian Poulter is a great team man. We don’t really hear that from the American side and, of course, Tiger himself has been said in the past not to have that team ethos about him. That potentially has been divisive.”

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