Ryder Cup 2012: Why Benching Tiger Woods Is Smart Move for Team USA

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistSeptember 29, 2012

MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 28:  Tiger Woods of the USA lines up a putt during the Afternoon Four-Ball Matches for The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club on September 28, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

With Team USA in a good position to steal the show in the 2012 edition of the Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club in Illinois, U.S. captain Davis Love III has made the executive decision to sit Tiger Woods for Day 2’s action.

For the first time since 1997, Woods will not be participating in the events of the Ryder Cup because of something other than an injury (Woods missed 2008 after knee surgery).

While on the surface this appears to be an attempt to keep the weakest link of the team off the course after yet another mediocre performance from Woods on Friday, Love is just sticking with his plan to give members of Team USA a rest before Sunday’s singles action.


Woods Isn’t Good at the Ryder Cup

There is no rhyme or reason behind the fact that Woods—a 14-time major championship winner on the PGA tour—has played so terribly at the Ryder Cup events, but the numbers don’t lie.

At 9-13-1 over his career in the doubles portion of the events, Team USA feels it is better off giving one of the younger stars a chance to shine instead of the veteran that proved once again on Friday that he just isn’t the same at the Ryder Cup.

Woods will be back on the course Sunday for the singles action (4-1-1 over his career), but it seems the U.S. team felt that it would be better off riding with the players already making the shots for Saturday's action.

There is no doubt Woods can still have a huge impact on the Ryder Cup, it just won’t come Saturday. For now, the tour veteran has earned his spot on the bench.


Team USA Is in the Driver’s Seat

With the emergence of young star Keegan Bradley as Team USA’s secret weapon, the home team has taken a 5-3 lead heading into Day 2 of the wild tournament.

Bradley has found the perfect accomplice in Phil Mickelson, and the duo has been utterly outplaying their competition, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald, who are two of the best players in the world.

Confidence is abounding for the Americans, but they have to keep their foot on the accelerator and not let up on the more-talented European team. While Team USA may be winning, no one will claim that it has the better players.

As long as the Europeans still have Rory McIlroy and the bountiful list of the world’s best, Love's boys will have to bring their A-game Saturday without Woods.

While going for the Ryder Cup without Woods would be an obstacle too tall to traverse just a few years ago, this time around will be different.

Have a seat, Tiger.


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