Tiger Woods has ruled himself out of contention for a wildcard spot on the US Ryder Cup team due to lingering back problems and has been told by doctors not to play or practice until his condition improves, the former world number one said.
Woods, who had surgery in March to treat a pinched nerve and has played just eight tournaments this year, asked US captain Tom Watson not to consider him for one of three wildcard picks for the biennial team competition against Europe next month.
Watson will announce his three picks on September 2 to complete his 12-man team to take on holders Europe at Gleneagles in Scotland from September 26-28.
“While I greatly appreciate Tom thinking about me for a possible captain’s pick, I must take myself out of consideration,” Woods said in a statement.
“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 practise now. I’m extremely disappointed that I won’t be ready for the competition.
“The US 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 US team. I think we have an outstanding squad going into the matches.”
Woods, a 14-times major winner, said on his official website that he planned to return to competition for the December 4-7 World Challenge tournament which he hosts, to be played this year in Orlando, Florida.
Woods has struggled for form since recovering from back surgery in late March and missed the cut at last week’s PGA Championship, only the fourth missed cut of his professional career in a major.