After ending his own winless streak in unforgettable fashion in the Tour Championship, Tiger Woods has his sights set on ending an even lengthier team drought to improve his personal Ryder Cup record.
Woods completed one of the greatest comebacks in sport after holding his nerve to win the 80th PGA Tour title of his career on Sunday in Atlanta, a first victory since 2013 coming 17 months after a last-ditch bid to save his career with spinal fusion surgery.
Just five hours later, the 42-year-old was on a plane to Paris with his teammates ahead of this week’s Ryder Cup, an event in which he has been on the winning side just once in seven attempts.
Woods won just half a point from four matches on his last appearance at Medinah in 2012 and his level of commitment to a team event rather than individually glory has often been questioned.
Asked during the 2002 American Express World Championship in Ireland why he rated that event more important than the following week’s Ryder Cup, Woods replied: “I can think of a million reasons,” a reference to the first prize on offer at Mount Juliet.
Speaking at Le Golf National about his record in the biennial contest between Europe and the United States, Woods admitted: “It’s certainly not something that I have really enjoyed and I’ve really liked seeing.
“I’ve played a lot of the matches. Of those seven previous Ryder Cups, I’ve sat out one session, and that was at Medinah. Otherwise, I’ve played every single match.
“We haven’t done well. You know, the year that we won in 2008, I had reconstruction knee surgery after the US Open and I didn’t play. And I was a vice captain in 2016, but it’s different being a player.
“It was neat to be part of the team, to be a part of helping the guys in any way I possibly could to make them feel comfortable, to get them into the right circumstances to allow them to play their best golf.
“But my overall Ryder Cup record – not having won as a player since 1999 – is something that hopefully we can change. We haven’t won as a US squad in 25 years on foreign soil, so hopefully that will change this week, as well.”
All eyes will be on Woods at the Ryder Cup, and it will be also interesting to see whether he pairs up with former foe Phil Mickelson.
Mickelson said earlier today he'd be more than up for pairing with his countryman, despite their disastrous stint together back in 2004.
As well as praising Woods in his press conference, Mickelson also praised him on Twitter, sending an ominous message to Team Europe in the process.
It seems like Tiger truly is back.
You have been warned, Team Europe.