Tiger Woods: Lackluster Ryder Cup a Stain on Successful 2012 Season

Ben Chodos@bchodosCorrespondent IISeptember 30, 2012

MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 30:  Tiger Woods of the USA waits on the fourth green during the Singles Matches for The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club on September 30, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Tiger Woods has had his ups and downs in 2012, but a failure to have a successful Ryder Cup will detract from his success this year.

Woods did have his moments, notching three wins at PGA Tour events, finishing third in the FedEx Cup standings and climbing up to No. 2 in the world ranking.

While he certainly did not reestablish himself as the dominant force he was before injuries and scandal derailed his career, this has undoubtedly been the most success he has enjoyed since his life—both on and off the golf course—took a turbulent turn.

But looking back on this Ryder Cup, Woods will only be able to hang his head. He did not play all that poorly, but the bottom line is that the only contribution he made throughout the tournament was entirely meaningless, as Martin Kaymer’s win on the 18th hole made Woods’ half-point on Sunday irrelevant, as noted by the PGA Tour via Twitter. 

EUROPE WINS THE #RYDERCUP!! Martin Kaymer clinches the 14th point.

— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 30, 2012

As a team, the Americans fell victim to the most spectacular collapse in Ryder Cup history.

The United States were up 10-6 heading into singles play on the final day of the tournament. This tied the margin covered by the 1999 American team’s incredible comeback, as noted by the Associated Press' Nancy Armour (via MSNBC), but that tournament was played in the United States.

The Europeans completed their comeback on foreign soil at Medinah by winning eight of the singles matches, losing three and having one halved, as reported by PGATour.com's Brian Wacker

Final score: Europe 14 1/2, U.S. 13 1/2. Just 3 1/2 points from 12 singles matches for U.S. Wow. #rydercup

— Brian Wacker (@pgatour_brianw) September 30, 2012

Leading up to the catastrophic final day, Woods played with Steve Stricker in the four-ball and foursomes rounds, losing all three of their matches. During Saturday afternoon’s four-ball, the pair made a valiant effort to erase a poor showing on the front nine, but it wasn’t enough and they were edged out by Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia.

Stricker ended up losing the decisive match to Kaymer that completed the monumental comeback. As the only two Americans not to earn a point in the first two days of play, and the final two players to finish, they were at the center of attention during this meltdown.

While it may be unfair, Woods and Stricker are going to receive a significant amount of blame. They simply did not do enough throughout the tournament to help their team win.

Woods will have plenty of positives from 2012 to build on as he continues his climb back to the top of the golf world, but his Ryder Cup performance will not be one of them.