Why the US Ryder Cup Team Doesn't Need Tiger Woods Anymore

Adam LindemerSenior Analyst ISeptember 21, 2008

I know right now many of you are giving me that "I can't believe he just said that" look, but if you were watching the 2008 Ryder Cup this weekend like I was, you will agree 150 percent.

Without Eldrick on their side, the Americans simply went out and beat the Europeans to bring the Ryder Cup back the US.

The so-called No. 1 player in the world has an overall Ryder Cup record that makes you cringe. And it's simply because Woods is better by himself; he is limited when he has others trying to help him out.

Tiger is used to it being himself against everyone else on the PGA Tour and blowing them out, not match play where it's an absolute up-and-down battle for 18 holes.

For the past three Ryder Cups, the European squad has downright owned the US side, and the Tiger that everyone was waiting to see was nowhere to be found.

When Tiger injured his knee after his gut/heart/knee-wrenching performance at the 2008 U.S. Open, the Ryder Cup squad was already given no chance to win, even with many other good things on their side.

Paul Azinger was captain and is a very smart guy when it comes to the game of golf. The matches were being played on American soil and in Kentucky no less, where strange things always seem to happen.

Captain Azinger would have six Ryder Cup rookies on the team, having picked four of them himself (two more picks than normal). Also, two Kentucky-born and raised players would be on the squad in Kenny Perry and J.B. Holmes.

I believe the Zinger took a page from the movie "Miracle" and Herb Brooks. He wasn't looking for the best players, he was looking for the right ones; and he found them.

J.B. Holmes (one of those Kentucky boys) used the home state crowds to his advantage. Holmes is what is known as "country strong", crushing the ball whenever given opportunities and replacing that "Tiger Power" from past teams. Heck, he played high school varsity golf...in THIRD GRADE!!

The fans also rallied behind Boo "Booooooooo" Weekley all weekend and finally the 'boos' directed at the Americans were a good thing.

The biggest player of all had to be Cup rookie Anthony Kim. Kim was paired with Phil Mickelson the first two days and played very well with Lefty, but what Kim did against Sergio Garcia on Sunday was what jump-started the Americans to victory.

Kim got out to an early lead versus Garcia and went on to beat one of the better players in the Ryder Cup 5 & 4.

In years past, it's always been known that Tiger was the "go-to" guy for the Americans, but even if he wins every match he plays, it only secures five points. Where do the other nine and a half come from?

And that's where the losses piled up, everybody focused on Tiger and forgot to win their own matches.

This year, the 12 realized that Tiger couldn't bail them out, and went out and did all the work as a 12-man team, rather than Tiger plus 11.

The Europeans did cut the margin on Sunday down to 10-9, but then the US squad really tightened the clamps to earn the victory at 14 and a half to 9 and a half, with four matches still on the course.

The Americans proved to the rest of the world that they don't need Tiger to win. And that's the best thing that could've happened to them.

The Tiger-less crew played with no fear, and that's how you beat the powerful Euro team. If you're not afraid of your opponent, there's no way you can lose.

For the past three Cups, the Americans have played it not to lose, and they got embarrassed each time. Perhaps the US needs more country boys who don't care what past teams have done.

Hopefully in two years, Team USA can go overseas and defend their Ryder Cup with or without Mr. Woods (Personally, I say scratch Eldrick from the roster).

And as far as the return of the Ryder Cup to America in 2012 at Medina, all I can say is, "Are there any golfers from Chicago they can call on?"