“Captain Corey, it’s great to be a part of this team,” Woods told Pavin via phone curing the press conference. “I’m honored to be selected and to head to Wales to be part of the Ryder Cup team. I’ve been to Wales before with the Walker Cup and I’m looking forward to being part of this team and to bringing the cup back.”
I’m glad Tiger is enthusiastic about this chance. I can’t say I’m enthusiastic about this choice. He hasn’t done much on the course this year to merit inclusion, though he did look pretty solid last week at the Deutsche Bank Championships.
In heading to Wales with the U.S. team, Woods clearly has a major opportunity to start rebuilding his image in the eyes of his countrymen. I can’t say I’ve been that impressed with his efforts to build bridges back to fans so far, but this is a positive step, and I’m guessing Pavin picked Woods at least in part because he knows what this could mean to Woods, and figures that will ensure that Woods brings his best.
Oh, and Woods also being the best golfer of our time probably had something to do with it, too.
Honestly, I don’t think I’d have made the same choice. I don’t see how Pavin passed on J.B. Holmes, who is proven in Ryder Cup play. I don’t know that I’d have taken Holmes instead of Tiger, but I don’t know how you leave him off. It’s a young team, and Holmes would’ve been an asset. Tiger has the potential to be a huge distraction in and out of the clubhouse. His teammates are going to get Tiger questions all over the place — but they might have anyway.
And Tiger is going to face a European press that proved plenty thirsty for tabloid details when he was there for the British Open.
Still, I have to say it certainly adds intrigue to the event. And it has the potential to be the thing that sets Tiger Woods on the road to a comeback. You never know.
Stuart Cink, Zach Johnson and Ricky Fowler were the other captain’s picks. They’ll join Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Hunter Mahan, Bubba Watson, Steve Stricker, Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar.