Woods dropped for Ryder Cup foursomes after woeful showing on opening day
07:19 GMT, 29 September 2012
Tiger Woods has been dropped for the first time in his Ryder Cup career, following a performance the former world No 1 admitted was 'awful'.
Woods sprayed the ball all over a Medinah course upon which he won two of his 14 major championships as he and Steve Stricker lost 2&1 in Friday's foursomes to Ian Poulter and Justin Rose.
And although he improved markedly in the fourballs to almost snatch half a point from an inspired Nicolas Colsaerts and Lee Westwood, two opening-day defeats for the fourth time in seven Ryder Cup appearances meant Davis Love became the first US captain to bench Woods in either the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup.
Dropped: Tiger Woods has paid the price for a poor opening day at the Ryder Cup
Love, whose side still took a 5-3 lead into Saturday after winning the fourballs 3-1, said: 'We just felt like we didn't want anybody to have to play five matches on this golf course. It's a big, long golf course. It's tough.
'We just don't want guys to be worn out. We need Tiger and Steve in the afternoon. We need Tiger and Steve on Sunday. There's so much that goes into this week and I saw it Monday night and Tuesday night. Our guys were out of the team room and in bed.
'The first thing they asked me when we got done playing or practising is, “When can we go home”
'They wanted to know as soon as they got finished today, when can we go rest, because it's going to be a long day tomorrow. I think Tiger needs a rest, Steve needs a rest, I need a rest, and it's a team effort.
Off course: Woods hit a fan in the head with a wayward shot on the opening day
'Tiger and Steve are very supportive friends of mine. They told me they would do whatever I asked them to do and I can guarantee you, neither one of them are very happy about it. Not because they are sitting out, but because they have to wait till tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon to come back.
'It's not about Tiger, Steve or Bubba (Watson) or Webb (Simpson). It's about this team trying to win.'
Woods had earlier hailed the amazing performance of Belgium's Colsaerts, the only rookie on the European team and one of captain Jose Maria Olazabal's two wild cards, who fired eight birdies and an eagle.
'Nicolas probably had one of the greatest putting rounds I've ever seen,' said Woods, who hit a spectator with an errant drive for the second time this week in his foursomes loss. 'We had a chance to get all square on the last hole and I missed it.
Rising star: Europe's Nicolas Colsaerts was in fine form on Friday
'I didn't play very good this morning at all. I was hitting it awful and not doing anything well. But I hit it good this afternoon.
'I drove it great this afternoon and was in position, but we ran into a guy who just made absolutely everything. I don't know what he shot. He was like seven under through 10. I quit counting after that.'
With Woods and Stricker left out, Love kept faith with the two pairs who won their foursomes matches on Friday – Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson and Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson – with major winners Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson given a chance to add to their fourball win.
Love also kept faith with Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker, who lost to Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell in the first match on Friday but had the chance for revenge against the Northern Irish pair.