A confident-sounding Tiger Woods put to rest any doubts that he wants to play for Team USA at the Ryder Cup in Wales in October. However, Woods is intent on making the team on his merits, not on his reputation. At a press conference at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Wednesday, he refused to speculate on whether he’d play as a captain’s pick.
“I’m planning on playing my way onto the team,” Woods said when asked if he would accept a captain’s pick to join the team. Woods is currently ninth in the American Ryder Cup standings; the top eight are automatically on the team.
The reporter tried to follow up on his original question, and Woods repeated his answer. When the reporter tried again, saying Woods's answer was an “equivocation,” an equivocal Tiger gave him more of the same.“I’m planning on playing my way onto the team.” His confident manner was a change from his last public comments, in which a bemused Woods said that his putting woes ruined a great driving week at the British Open in St. Andrews. Woods said he has had some good practice sessions in Orlando, and he believes the problem with his putting is his speed.
“My speed has been off all year,” Woods said. “I three-putted quite a few times, which I don’t do normally. I didn’t work on my putting as much as I should have.” Woods said the distraction caused by his personal scandals has made 2010 a difficult year for him, but that things were starting to return to normal. Woods added that his personal scandals weren’t the only reason he hasn’t spent as much time practicing as in the past.
“I haven’t practiced as much as I used to, nor should I,” Woods said. “With the kids, life has changed.” Woods has a ridiculously successful record in August -- he’s won the Bridgestone event seven times along with four PGA Championships. He said that he doesn’t know why that is, except that some of the post-British Open venues fit his eye. With the pieces of his game starting to come together, Woods knows that a successful August will fix his Ryder Cup standing, his tenuous hold on the No. 1 ranking and probably a lot of personal doubts as well.
“Winning golf tournaments takes care of a lot of things,” Woods said.