Euro captain Faldo: U.S. could rally at Ryder Cup without Tiger

Updated: June 20, 2008, 6:06 PM ET
Associated Press

LONDON -- European captain Nick Faldo said Friday that an American team without Tiger Woods in the Ryder Cup could be just as dangerous if it uses his absence as motivation.

Tiger Woods

Woods

Nick Faldo

Faldo

"On the one side, it could be a loss," Faldo told The Press Association. "But on the other, they know that they don't have the option to bank on Tiger this year, and I'm sure they'll all pull together because of that."

Europe has defeated the United States the last three times, including nine-point margins in 2004 and 2006. The Ryder Cup will be played Sept. 19-21 at Valhalla.

Woods, who said Wednesday he will have season-ending surgery on his left knee, has not missed a match since he first played in the Ryder Cup in 1997 at Valderrama. He has a 10-13-2 record, including 3-1-1 in singles.

"I don't think it's a given that it improves our chances," Faldo said. "The best player in the world over 18 holes in match play can be very vulnerable. Players raise their game in that kind of situation. Ultimately, we'll just have to wait and see. And in the meantime, let's hope that Tiger makes a swift recovery."

Faldo, a six-time major champion who now works as an analyst for CBS Sports and Golf Channel, said he was surprised to learn that Woods had a double stress fracture and torn knee ligament while playing the U.S. Open, which he won in a 19-hole playoff.

"I am amazed at what he did," Faldo said. "To go two months without tournament play with minimal practice -- I assume he could practice short game and putting, but apparently he only started long game the week before -- and nobody knows how much pain he was in."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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