Tiger Woods is hoping to put his Ryder Cup demons to rest and secure a first American win on European soil for 25 years this week at Le Golf National.
The chances of the 14-time Major champion making the biennial spectacular looked almost impossible 17 months ago when he underwent spinal fusion surgery that left him wondering if he would ever compete at the highest level again.
He was even named as a vice-captain but after near-misses at both the Open Championship and US PGA Championship, he was handed a captain’s pick, and claimed his first win in five years on Sunday at the Tour Championship on the US PGA Tour.
That brings him to Paris as one of the world’s form players as he looks to improve on a Ryder Cup record that does not match up to his remarkable individual achievements.
In seven appearances, he has just one win at Brookline in 1999 and 14½ points from 33 matches, having only been rested in one session – the Saturday morning foursomes at Medinah in 2012.
‘My overall Ryder Cup record, not having won as a player since 1999, is something hopefully we can change,’ he said. ‘It certainly is something that – looking back on my entire Ryder Cup career – that’s not something I enjoy or like seeing.
‘To have now earned my way on to the team, to have not only the captain, vice-captains but the players want me on the team because I was picked, means a lot to me.
‘There’s a lot of nerves. It’s excitement. I mean, it really is. It’s something we don’t get to experience in that regard because basically it’s the final round of a tournament on the very first hole and every match you tee it up. It’s a different atmosphere and one that we absolutely love.’
Credit: Ryder Cup