Tiger Woods might not have been physically present at the 43rd Ryder Cup, but his presence was felt throughout the week among members of Team USA.
On Thursday night, Woods sent U.S. captain Steve Stricker a text message to try to pump up the team ahead of Friday’s opening session. Stricker passed it along to the players, several of whom said it was something they thought about while on the course.
“The overall picture was just wishing the guys good luck and congratulations for making the team, and a few personal things from Tiger himself,” Stricker said. “He’s a friend of a lot of these guys and these guys look up to him, and I lean on him a lot throughout this whole process. So it was great to hear from him and provide some words of encouragement to these guys.”
According to reports, Tiger messaged again on Saturday night, the U.S. leading 11-5, imploring the team to “step on their necks” in the final singles session on Sunday.
Suffice it to say, the Americans listened, winning seven of the 12 matches to cap an emphatic 19-9 win, the most lopsided victory since continental Europe was added to the matches in 1979.
After the drubbing, Tiger took to social media to acknowledge the victory.
“He’s part of our Ryder Cup team,” Stricker explained early in the week. “He’s part of what we do. He’s been part of so many of these teams. So to bounce ideas off of him, all of us, players alike, I know some of the players went over to see him.”