MEDINAH, Ill. — For the first time in his career, Tiger Woods will be on the bench at the Ryder Cup.
U.S. captain Davis Love III has decided not to play Woods in this morning’s session of foursomes. Woods had played every match since making his debut at Valderrama in 1997. He did not play in the 2008 matches while recovering from knee surgery, and he only played four matches in Wales two years ago because the matches were reconfigured due to rain.
Love had said all week he didn’t want players to be in all five matches so they could conserve energy for the singles matches on Sunday.
Woods played poorly in a foursomes loss Friday morning and was sent back out. He made seven birdies Friday afternoon in a fourball loss and was benched.
PROVIDING A BOOST: The Europeans got a much-needed bailout from a most unlikely source.
Nicolas Colsaerts, Europe’s lone rookie on the team, single-handedly kept his team from being swept in the second session at the Ryder Cup on Friday.
He might have kept Europe’s hope of claiming its fifth Ryder Cup in six tries alive, too.
Colsaerts made eight birdies and an eagle to give him and Lee Westwood a 1-up win over Woods and Steve Stricker.
“I had the best seat in the house,” Westwood said. “I was saying after the match had finished, I knew how vital it was. I wasn’t sure if Nicolas did. He said he was looking at the scoreboards, but there’s a massive difference between getting a halve and getting a win.”
AIR WAS OUT THERE: Michael Jordan was out on the course early, rooting for his teammates to give him one more win in Chicago.
Kind of had a familiar feel to it, much to the delight of the fans who lined the fairways Friday at Medinah Country Club.
They were there to cheer the U.S. against Europe in the Ryder Cup. Seeing Jordan, an honorary team member, following the matches from inside the ropes was an added bonus.
“Hey Michael,” they yelled. “Come on No. 23, we need you back!”
Jordan took it all in as if he were still playing for the Chicago Bulls, giving an occasional fist bump and acknowledging the crowd as he made his way around Medinah. His first mission, though, was to try and get the home team going, and he cheered loudly for Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker as they tried to mount a comeback in the opening foursomes match against Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell.
“It would be nice to win this one to show McIlroy is not invincible,” Jordan said from behind the 14th green as the Americans made a birdie to remain 2-down in the match. “But what’s really important is to get it at least to the 18th hole because you don’t want the guys behind them seeing a loss up on the board early.”
Furyk and Snedeker did manage to get it to the 18th before losing as the U.S. got off to a strong start. The 6-foot-6 Jordan served as team cheerleader all day, bending down at time so fans behind him could see.
Jordan might not play golf as he played basketball, but he’s a member at Medinah and has been at every Ryder Cup since 1995. He’s an avid golfer who likes to have a wager or two while he plays, a fact not lost on fans.
“Hey, Michael,” yelled one on the 16th hole. “How much you got on this hole?”