Publicly, Tiger Woods is saying there is no chance he will be attending this weekend’s Ryder Cup matches in Kentucky, even as a spectator. The DAILY TELEGRAPH is reporting that Woods might be planning a surprise appearance to give a speech and fire the team up. The question I have is simple: Why would that matter?
Last time I checked, Tiger was on the last Ryder Cup team, the one that was blown out by the same record margin as the team in 2002. Hey, Tiger was on that team too? I thought he never lost, ever. If having him actually play last time (and earn a third of the team’s points) wasn’t enough, how much of a difference is him giving a “rah-rah” speech going to make?
Plus, this is golf, not football. Delivering a speech that gets everyone ready to smash their heads through the walls of the clubhouse probably isn’t going to do much, other than get ready to spray their first drive into the next fairway. Although if they really want that, and Tiger isn’t available, perhaps they can lure Ichiro down from Seattle for a quick pep talk. Although I’m sure a Tiger Woods pep speech would be great, as long as the script that Nike provides him is properly inspirational, and they have the ability to shoot multiple takes.
And, this being the Ryder Cup, the mind games have alrady begun: European captain Nick Faldo has suggested that American captain Paul Azinger might not be pleased with the “win at all costs” attitudes that vice-captains Dave Stockon and Ray Floyd are bringing to the team. (Ray Floyd, too intense? Shocking.) Azinger then suggested that Faldo’s sweater vest was “so 1996″ and then Faldo called Azinger’s visor “totally lame” and then the hall monitor had to break it up.