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Presidents Cup 2011: U.S. Proves It Doesn't Need Tiger Woods with Big Day 3 Lead

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2011

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 20:  Tiger Woods of the U.S. Team looks on at thie first hole with Aaron Baddeley of the International Team in the background during the Day Four Singles Matches of the 2011 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Course on November 20, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Tiger Woods' record in the 2011 Presidents Cup in Melbourne, Australia is just 1-3. Despite that, the United States has a commanding 13-9 lead heading into the final day, proving Tiger's presence simply isn't what it used to be.

Woods and his partner Dustin Johnson finally picked up their first point of the tournament in foursomes by defeating Adam Scott and K.J. Choi in the morning session. Things unraveled for Woods in the afternoon, though, as he and Johnson were defeated by Y.E. Yang and Kyung-tae Kim.

Tiger has never been the best in team events, but his mere presence used to be an advantage for the United States. Now that he is viewed as little more than just another golfer, however, having him on the team doesn't really give the U.S. any sort of advantage.

Woods' inclusion on the team by captain Fred Couples was criticized by some as there were several seemingly deserving candidates left off the squad. I was initially in support of Couples' decision, but if Woods continues to play at this level, then it may be better to let some less-experienced golfers compete in these high-pressure situations.

There have been times over the past couple years where Woods has teased golf fans with a momentary uptick in play. That was the case recently in the Australian Open. Woods blew a lead, although he was able to recover and finish third.

That performance made people take notice and seemed like it could springboard him back to somewhere near his former level. Woods simply hasn't built off of that outing in the Presidents Cup, though, and you have to wonder if this is as good as he is going to get.

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With that said, until Tiger proves that he can play at a high level consistently, I think he should be left out of team events. It may not be a popular decision among casual golf fans, and it may diminish the prestige of the event a bit, but it's time to start making decisions based upon who is deserving.

If Woods earns his way onto Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup teams, then he deserves to be there, but he shouldn't be made a captain's pick in the future. It pains me to say this as a long-time fan of Woods, but he simply can't contribute adequately to a winning cause anymore.

Things are more interesting when Woods is in the fold, but if the objective is winning, then he shouldn't be an option in team events moving forward. The United States is winning in spite of him in the Presidents Cup and that will continue to be the case until he finds his game.

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