Ryder Cup 2012: Tiger Woods Needs Big Sunday to Salvage Poor Performance

Mike HoagCorrespondent IISeptember 29, 2012

MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 29:  Sergio Garcia of Europe (R) shakes hands with Tiger Woods of the USA on the 18th green after the Garcia/Donald team defeated the Woods/Stricker team 1up during day two of the Afternoon Four-Ball Matches for The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club on September 29, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Tiger Woods has played in three of four matches of the 2012 Ryder Cup and has yet to earn a point for Team USA.

Saturday morning, he sat for the first time in his career since he began playing at the Cup in 1997.

It hasn’t been all Tiger’s fault, though, as his teammate Steve Stricker has played poorly as well.

However, Tiger’s inconsistency has gotten the better of him in this highly competitive tournament format. He doesn’t have the luxury of four rounds of singles play to steadily work his way back into contention. He needs to play well and play well now.

After losing three points, the country’s best golfer of the past decade didn’t hurt the Americans’ chances all that much due to the superb play of his teammates. Team USA currently leads the Europeans with a 10-6 margin heading into the final singles round on Sunday.

Woods has a chance to help make up for his 0-3 margin by dominating in straight-up golf. Something Tiger Woods does very, very well.

In order for his team and country to win the tournament, they only need to win five out of a possible 12 points in the singles round. A win from Woods would silence the critics, and more or less solidify the team’s victory.

He’s still one of golf’s best and will continue to be, despite some sporadic troubles at the Medinah Country Club. However, how much has the Saturday morning benching weighed on his psyche?

In the afternoon of Saturday’s four-ball round, Woods was as up-and-down as he has been to this point. On the front nine, he struggled in his first action after sitting out the morning foursomes. The back nine, though, was a different story. Woods knocked in five birdies, but it wasn’t enough, as Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald were on fire.

While Tiger’s performance hasn’t been horrible, he’s certainly not performing at the level he’d like to on this huge stage.

A big day on Sunday will go a long way in helping Woods finish this tournament strong and in silencing his critics.



Mike Hoag is a Breaking News Team writer with Bleacher Report and also covers the Cleveland Browns and the NFL for the site.