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Tiger Woods: Salvaging draw wasn"t worth it

Dejected Woods admits turning his back on 18th green because tie felt worthless

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UPDATED:

07:45 GMT, 1 October 2012

Tiger Woods claimed neither he nor the United States team were interested salvaging a tie from the 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah.

After Europe produced a stunning fightback to reach the 14 points they required to retain the cup near Chicago, Woods knew heading to the 18th tee he could no longer affect the trophy's destiny.

But by holding on to his one-hole lead in the final match, the former world No 1 could at least have ensured the scoreline finished 14-14.

No roar: Tiger Woods was left to rue a wasteful day by Team USA

No roar: Tiger Woods was left to rue a wasteful day by Team USA

He had the opportunity to do that but after missing a putt to beat Francesco Molinari, he then conceded the hole to the Italian and handed Europe an outright 14.5-13.5 win.

Woods said: 'It was already over. We came here as a team – this is a team event. And the cup was already been retained by Europe, so it was already over.

Yanks but no thanks: Woods concedes to Francesco Molinari

Yanks but no thanks: Woods concedes to Francesco Molinari

'You come here as a team and you win or
lose as a team, and it's pointless to even finish. So 18 was just, hey,
get this over with. Congratulations to the European team. They played
fantastic and they deserve the cup.'

That incident rounded off a dismal three days for Woods in which he failed to win a single match.

The 36-year-old 14-time major winner lost three times in partnership with Steve Stricker on Friday and Saturday and was even stood down for a match for the first time in his career.

Captain Davis Love faced further questions over his decision to rest Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, after the pair enjoyed three wins together, for the Saturday afternoon fourballs.

But over the course of the three days, Love felt he had done everything he could to secure victory – after all, his side had led 10-6 heading into the singles.

Love said: 'I wouldn't have done anything different, they played great. They did everything we asked them to do, and I can honestly say that I've been a part of a lot of teams and I've never seen a team of golfers like this, and I'm proud of them.

Just champion: Team Europe produced a stunning final day comeback

Just champion: Team Europe produced a stunning final day comeback

'It was certainly a difficult loss. I think any Ryder Cup loss is difficult. There are some guys on this team that have lost before and it's never fun any way it happens. This was certainly not what we expected.

'They got beat by some holed putts, chip-ins, some incredible shots, and some matches got flipped at the end on long putts and great saves by the other team.

'I have to congratulate Europe on the way they played, they played great.'

Ryder Cup 2012: Ian Poulter guide to Europe and USA teams

Ian Poulter's guide to the golfing gladiators

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 27 September 2012

EUROPE

Rory McIlroy
Age: 23 Ryder Cup record: Wins 1; Losses 1; Halves 2

Poulter's verdict: The new phenomenon. Like
everyone else, I knew it the first time I saw him on a golf course and
now he’s living up to all that potential. Looks like he can win when he
wants to.

USA

Tiger Woods
Age: 36 Ryder Cup record: Wins 13; Losses 14; Halves 2

Poulter's verdict: Not a great matchplay record
on paper but still the most dangerous opponent. Holes putts at the right
time, and hits a lot more fairways these days. Just tough to play
against.

Illustrations of Tiger Woods and Rory Mcilroy by Paul Trevillion, commissioned exclusively for Sportsmail. Paul is the legendary master of movement.

Illustrations of Tiger Woods and Rory Mcilroy by Paul Trevillion, commissioned exclusively for Sportsmail. Paul is the legendary master of movement.

Illustrations of Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods by Paul Trevillion, commissioned exclusively for Sportsmail

Nicolas Colsaerts
Age: 29 Ryder Cup record: Debut

Poulter’s verdict: Three hundred and
fifty yard drives off the tee. That’s handy in fourballs, isn’t it I’ll
be telling him to just stay loose and go and play, because he’s such an
exciting guy to watch.

Luke Donald
Age: 34 Ryder Cup record: Wins 8; Losses 2; Halves 1

Verdict: Played incredible golf the
last two years and is a great man to have by your side. Someone you can
rely on to hit the right shot at the right time.

Sergio Garcia
Age: 32 Ryder Cup record: Wins 14; Losses 6; Halves 4

Verdict: The spirit he plays golf
with is like no other. We’ve seen him hit career shots time and again at
the Ryder Cup and it’s going to be very special for him to play under
Ollie.

Peter Hanson
Age: 34 Ryder Cup record: Wins 1; Losses 2; Halves 0

Verdict: One of those pros that the
players probably notice more than the public. Deservedly made the side.
Been solid in the majors, and the big events, and makes a hatful of
birdies.

Martin Kaymer
Age 27 Ryder Cup record: Wins 2; Losses 1; Halves 1

Verdict: How nice to see him show some
form recently. He’s capable of turning it on very quickly and when he
does he’s great to play with. I’ve got a feeling he will surprise some
people and show his class.

Keegan Bradley
Age: 26 Ryder Cup record: Debut

Poulter’s verdict: A major
championship win and a WGC victory, both in the last 15 months. Plays
the game with the sort of intensity I love to see.

Jason Dufner
Age: 35 Ryder Cup record: Debut

Verdict: One of the most consistent
players in the last 12 months. He has led a quite amazing number of
events. The quietest man on either side.

Jim Furyk
Age: 42 Ryder Cup record: Wins 8; Losses 15; Halves 4

Verdict: Think of Jim and you think
of the word gutsy. He’s just dogged and when his putting is on he is a
seriously tough guy to play against.

Dustin Johnson
Age: 28 Ryder Cup record: Wins 1; Losses 3; Halves 0

Verdict: A dangerous man. When you’re
up against someone who can hit it so long, it can spell trouble. A very
good man to have in the right format.

Zach Johnson
Age: 36 Ryder Cup record: Wins 3; Losses 3; Halves 1

Verdict: Always hits the ball with
his draw, never tries anything different, and why should he when it
works so well What I like about Zach’s game is he never beats himself.

Airborne: Ian Poulter leaps into the air after hitting an approach shot to the 16th green during practice

Airborne: Ian Poulter leaps into the air after hitting an approach shot to the 16th green during practice

Paul Lawrie
Age: 43 Ryder Cup record: Wins 3; Losses 1; Halves 1

Verdict: He’s some story, isn’t he
He is quite simply a man reborn and all year his stats have been
excellent. Paul is a great man to partner and he is someone I have a
hunch is going to do very well.

Graeme McDowell
Age: 33 Ryder Cup record: Wins 4; Losses 2; Halves 2

Verdict: I love the way his excitement
levels go through the roof at the Ryder Cup and yes, that does remind
me of a certain someone else in the European team!

Francesco Molinari
Age: 30 Ryder Cup record: Wins 0; Losses 2; Halves 1

Verdict: It doesn’t matter if he’s
hitting a driver, a hybrid, a long iron or a short iron. He will hit it
in the middle of the fairway and the middle of the green, and gives you
great options as a partner.

Ian Poulter
Age: 36 Ryder Cup record:
Wins 8; Losses 3; Halves 0

Verdict: I certainly don’t need to talk about
myself. I do far too much of that already.

Justin Rose
Age: 32 Ryder Cup record: Wins 3; Losses 1; Halves 0

Verdict: People think he’s nice and
quiet but take it from me he’s a feisty character when he needs to be.
Upset to miss out last time and I expect to see him fired up and
passionate. He’s going to be great.

Lee Westwood
Age: 39 Ryder Cup record: Wins 16; Losses 11; Halves 6

Verdict: Lee is the perfect team-mate.
He is as hard as nails when he needs to be and a very good laugh when
he doesn’t need to be. Has seen it all.

Matt Kuchar
Age: 34 Ryder Cup record: Wins 1; Losses 1; Halves 2

Verdict: The American team’s
Molinari. He puts the ball in play time and again and just has a very
solid game. Expect him to play in the two foursomes series.

Phil Mickelson
Age: 40 Ryder Cup record: Wins 11; Losses 17; Halves 6

Verdict: A new putting grip, I see.
As erratic as he can be, you never know when he’s going to chip in or
hole a putt and that gives you an edge at matchplay.

Webb Simpson
Age: 27 Ryder Cup record: Debut

Verdict: Showed what he is capable of
with his win at the US Open. Another who can really roll his ball with a
putter, as the Americans say.

Brandt Snedeker
Age: 31 Ryder Cup record: Debut

Verdict: With apologies to my mate Luke, here is the world’s best putter. His stroke is as pure as it gets.

Steve Stricker
Age: 45 Ryder Cup record: Wins 3; Losses 3; Halves 1

Verdict: Hits it straight down the middle, has a great wedge game and holes more than his share of putts.

Bubba Watson
Age: 33 Ryder Cup record: Wins 1; Losses 3; Halves 0

Verdict: Plays footloose and fancy free. You can see why people love to watch him. Makes shedloads of birdies.

Just warming up: Poulter plays off the 17th tee at Medinah Country Club in Chicago

Just warming up: Poulter plays off the 17th tee at Medinah Country Club in Chicago

Ryder Cup essential