Tiger Woods Ryder Cup 2012: Why Tiger Deserved Benching

Jeremy FuchsCorrespondent IIISeptember 30, 2012

MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 28:  Tiger Woods of the USA hits a shot on the tenth hole during the Afternoon Four-Ball Matches for The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club on September 28, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
David Cannon/Getty Images

Tiger Woods, and his partner Steve Stricker, lost their first two Ryder Cup matches on Friday. They lost their first match two and one to Ian Poulter and Justin Rose, and then lost again in the afternoon to Lee Westwood and Nicolas Colsaerts.

The losses prompted U.S. captain Davis Love to bench the pair for the Saturday morning session. It's not yet known if they will play in the afternoon session.

Davis provided the rationale behind the decision: [via Boston Globe]

I think Tiger needs a rest. Steve needs a rest,” Love said. “Neither one of them are very happy about it. Not because they are sitting out, because they have to wait until tomorrow afternoon to come back.

Woods' performance, to say the least, has not been good. On the first hole, he pulled his drive way to the left and then missed a birdie on 18 in the morning session. 

Woods played a bit better in the afternoon, but not good enough to get the win.

Woods has historically struggled in the Ryder Cup, with a career record of 13-16-2. But then again, he's Tiger Woods, and this will be the first time Woods has not played in a Ryder Cup session, in seven career appearances.

Tiger Woods is no longer invincible. That's clear. He's been overtaken by Rory McIlroy. He's good, but he's no longer the player he once was.

It's hard to say whether it's a confidence thing, or if he's still tentative after his injury, or if it's simply age-related, but Tiger deserved this benching. The U.S. is winning despite Tiger's poor play; losing on home turf is unacceptable. 

For the first time in a long time, the Americans do not need Tiger. They have plenty of youngsters to make up the ground. 

Golf is changing. Tiger is no longer the golden boy. That crown goes to McIlroy. Right now, he's a shell of his former self. And the U.S. team is better off without him.