It may seem strange to say it but Tiger Woods' decision to rule himself out of next month's Ryder Cup will come as a great relief for USA, especially team captain Tom Watson.
Woods has had an injury ravaged season and, as a result, finished well outside the nine automatic qualifying places for the Ryder Cup. This meant that he would have been relying on Watson to pick him as one of his three wildcards.
No headache for Watson
Watson must have been dreading the decision. Would he leave out the 14-time major winner?
But the team captain will be glad that the decision is now out of his hands. Watson stated this week that he knew Woods would make an honest decision regarding his fitness and it seems that he's listened.
Woods had surgery on his troublesome back in March but after competing in four events since his return, there are still major question marks surrounding his condition.
He missed the cut during last week's US PGA Championship, only the fourth time he's done that in a major championship.
With fitness and form concerns all season, any other player wouldn't even be considered for selection for the Ryder Cup. But Woods' reputation looked like it could secure him a place as one of Watson's wildcard picks.
Earlier this week Watson suggested that Woods was very much in his thinking for a Ryder Cup spot.
"He is Tiger Woods and he brings a lot to the team," Watson said. "If he has the ability to play and he's healthy, I'd be a fool not to consider him."
His involvement may have caused a negative effect amongst the USA team if Woods had been selected ahead of another player who deserved it slightly more.
Credit for Woods
But with Woods making the early, honest decision to withdraw himself from contention it means Watson can spend his team deciding his three wildcard picks which are due to be selected on September 2.
Woods' agent Mark Steinberg believes that his client deserves some credit for withdrawing himself for the good of the team.
"It was a big decision for him to place a call to Tom and take himself out of consideration," Steinberg told ESPN.
"Often times people have questioned Tiger's commitment to the Ryder Cup, to team events. Nobody should question his integrity when it comes to playing for his country. I think this says a lot about his feelings toward the event and team competition."
Blessing in disguise for USA?
It now appears that Woods will make sure he doesn't rush another comeback and according to his website is now targeting his return for his own World Challenge tournament in December.
Although the Ryder Cup will miss Woods next month at Gleneagles, USA won't be too downhearted by seeing him rule himself out.
Also Woods appears to somewhat of an unlucky charm for USA with only one win in his seven career appearances. In fact the last time Woods wasn't involved in the Ryder Cup, America claimed their most recent victory in 2008.
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