Tiger Woods Tapped to Motivate U.S. Team Before Ryder Cup
The U.S. Ryder Cup team captains have used famous faces before to help provide some inspiration before the big event. Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and George W Bush, for instance, have been tasked with motivating the golfers in the past. Golf is more of an individual sport, and as a result, sometimes players struggle with strategizing together and bonding as a team.
A Little Inspiration
“It [the team bonding] should happen naturally, although it doesn’t always work out that way,” Paul Azinger, the 2008 US captain said. “Look, every captain is going to create an environment for the guys to be successful in the best way that they know how.
“And I’ve talked to Steve and he’s told me that he is going to eliminate the things that made him nervous as a Ryder Cup player – the inspirational videos and speakers and stuff like that and he is just going to sell the message of preparation really hard and try to have an advantage on that course. He also said that Tiger has been on all the time with his observations. That is a neat guy to have in your corner.”
‘One of Their Own’
This year Steve Stricker has decided to use one of their own to give his team the boost of confidence they’ll need this week. Tiger Woods, who has previously been vice-captain for the tournament will address his colleagues before the matches begin on Friday.
“He is still part of this Ryder Cup family,’ said Stricker. “I’ve talked to him a lot. He is very passionate about the Ryder Cup and a great guy to talk to, and lean on. He continues to be a part of this, even if he can’t be there in person. He will be with us in spirit and help us from afar.
“The guys really respect him, and he did a great job obviously as a captain [at the 2019 Presidents Cup], but he was an assistant captain in the 2016 Ryder Cup and of mine in the 2017 Presidents Cup – he was unbelievable. He would do anything for you, and he’s totally, totally vested in the situation and the process. He’s told me, ‘I don’t know if I can be there or not, but you know I’m here for you all the way’. “That shows his level of commitment to me and the team.”
Tiger Woods is someone his fellow golfers can trust. For this reason, any of them have spoken out in the past about how much they look up to him. Even in competition, Woods has provided plenty of inspiration and helped others become better golfers. While he won’t be able to play alongside them, there is a slim chance he could make an in-person appearance. Most likely the team will have to settle with seeing Tiger via video call though.