On Wednesday, Tiger Woods removed himself from Ryder Cup consideration to heal his ailing back.
Ryder Cup captain and fellow Stanford alum Tom Watson was considering choosing Woods as a captain’s pick, but Woods made the decision for him.
“I’ve been told by my doctors and trainer that my back muscles need to be rehabilitated and healed. They’ve advised me not to play or practice now. I was fortunate that my recent back injury was not related to my surgery and was muscular only,” he wrote in a statement on his website, which was also released by the PGA. “I have already spoken to Tom [Watson] about the Ryder Cup, and while I greatly appreciate his thinking about me for a possible captain’s pick, I took myself out of consideration.”
Woods said “the U.S. team and the Ryder Cup mean too much to me not to be able to give it my best.”
“I’ll be cheering for the U.S. team,” he noted. “I think we have an outstanding squad going into the matches.”
Woods said he plans to “return to competition at my World Challenge tournament at Isleworth in Orlando, Florida, Dec. 1-7.”
“It’s an event that’s important to me and my foundation, and it will be exciting to be playing again,” he said.
Woods has struggled after missing the Masters and the U.S. Open this year after undergoing back surgery. He struggled in his return, missing the cut in his tournament before the British Open. He barely made the cut across the pond. He withdrew from the World Golf Championship in Ohio and attempted to play the PGA Championship with his injury.
It didn’t go well, as Woods missed just his fourth cut in a major.
Noticeably in pain and with announcers wondering if it would be better just to withdraw before doing more damage to his back, Woods finished both rounds but did not stay around for the weekend after shooting 6-over.
Woods, who has 14 majors and has a lifelong goal of breaking Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 majors, turns 39 in December.