Ryder Cup 'bigger than any player', says Europe captain Donald as Woods involvement confirmed

By Sports Desk October 04, 2022

The Ryder Cup is "bigger than any individual player", says Europe captain Luke Donald, while Team USA skipper Zach Johnson has confirmed Tiger Woods will feature in some capacity.

Next year's tournament, set to take place at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club near Rome between September and October, is the first to come amid the bitter LIV Golf breakaway in the sport.

Donald succeeded Henrik Stenson after the latter was sacked for defecting from the PGA Tour, while Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Cameron Smith are among those who have also moved to the Saudi-backed league.

Questions have been raised over whether LIV Golf players will be considered for teams, with Zach Johnson indicating they would not be eligible for the USA, but Donald has now spoken of his hope the tournament will "unify" golf.

"The Ryder Cup is bigger than any individual player, and it's a great way to unify everyone," Donald said.

"I think it will continue to do that. What's so great about the Ryder Cup is that it does garner an interest in a new generation of players and fans to this game. "

Woods, an eight-time Ryder Cup veteran with Team USA, will be involved, even if he is not a playing member.

"I can tell you right now, I don't know whether he'll be here next year, but he will be part of this team in some capacity. He already is frankly," said Zach Johnson.

"I can't put this mildly; he loves the Ryder Cup. He wants to be a part of it as best he can. He and I will be in constant communication."

Related items

  • Tiger Woods won't pursue surgery on foot injury Tiger Woods won't pursue surgery on foot injury

    Tiger Woods will not pursue surgery on the foot injury that saw him withdraw from this week's Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.

    The 15-time major champion was due to play his first competitive event since missing the cut at The Open back in July but has been suffering with plantar fasciitis in his right foot.

    Woods had been scheduled to play three events in December, though it remains to be seen if he will play at all. 

    The legendary American had been aiming to up his workload having played only three times last season due to the broken leg he sustained in a car accident in February 2021.

    He explained that his latest issue will be treated with a "stretch and relax" method rather than going under the knife.

    "You don’t want to go down the surgical route," Woods told the Golf Channel. "Injections, surgical, or just stretch and relax, and I chose to stretch and relax.

    "Get off your feet, which I have done and continue to do. Also sleep at night with a boot on; try to stretch it out."

    The injury, according to the PGA Tour's official website, affects around two million people in the United States and causes a stabbing pain near the heel as a result of an inflammation of a thick band of tissue.

    Woods explained how playing full 18-hole rounds is tricky with the injury.

    "When you first step out of bed, it's like, 'Oh my God'," he added.

    "It's just a long haul. I just can't walk for too long a period of time."

  • Reigning champion Viktor Hovland headlines four-man leading group at Hero World Challenge Reigning champion Viktor Hovland headlines four-man leading group at Hero World Challenge

    Viktor Hovland is looking to win back-to-back Hero World Challenge titles and started his week on the right track, finishing Thursday's opening round in a four-way tie for the lead at three under.

    The small field boasts 20 of the PGA Tour's top talents, with Tiger Woods hosting the event at Albany Golf Club in the Bahamas.

    Winner of the 2021 edition, Hovland posted an impressive eagle on the par-four 14th hole to go with his two birdies and one bogey to share the lead through 18 holes.

    Norway's top golfer is joined by 20-year-old South Korean phenom Tom Kim, America's Collin Morikawa, and Austria's Sepp Straka, with the latter coming in as the late replacement for Woods following his withdrawal due to plantar fasciitis.

    Kim, who already has two PGA Tour wins under his belt, was the only of the foursome to not make a single bogey.

    They are one stroke clear of Sam Burns alone in fifth at two under, with Cameron Young, Max Homa and Tommy Fleetwood tied for sixth at one under.

    World number two Scottie Scheffler is joined by two-time major champion Justin Thomas as part of the group at even par, while Jon Rahm is at one over, and Matt Fitzpatrick is at two over.

    Corey Conners is alone in 19th at three over, and Jordan Spieth is dead last and the only player at four over.

  • Stats that defined November on PGA Tour: Year of Finau rolls on, Svensson nabs first win Stats that defined November on PGA Tour: Year of Finau rolls on, Svensson nabs first win

    It's officially Tony Finau's world. The rest of us are just living in it.

    The 33-year-old continued his winning ways last month at the Cadence Bank Houston Open, steam rolling the competition en-route to a four-shot victory. It was his third PGA Tour victory over his last 30 starts after the Utah native won just once in his first 185 tournaments.

    "This is definitely the most all parts of my game have been clicking, but I would say I've played a lot of good golf for a while," Finau said afterward. "I didn't have a lot of wins to show for it, but I've pieced together a game and that's what you have to do out here.

    "I feel like I've been a very solid player for a long time, but it's exciting for me that I'm getting better and that's all I can ask of myself is try and get better in the areas that I really need to.

    "And then remember why you are where you are. I think I don't go too far away from the DNA of my game and how I see the game and I think I'm kind of bearing the fruits of how I see the game now and I'm able to hit the shots that I can see, which is pretty cool."

    The DNA of Finau's game has been easy to identify – putting and driving. Simple enough, right?

    At the Houston Open, Finau finished with a 75 percent driving accuracy for the week, the fourth time in his five TOUR wins he's accomplished that feat.

    Amazingly, it was the worst percentage among all his recent victories – he finished with a 76.8 percent accuracy at this year's 3M Open, a 78.6 percent accuracy at the 2021 FedEx St. Jude Championship, and a career-best 82.1 percent accuracy at the Rocket Mortgage Classic earlier this summer.

    "Probably the best driving week I've had in my career, at least that's how I felt,” Finau said. "For the first time in my career I hit all 13 fairways, 100 percent of fairways in regulation. I've never done that in my career, so definitely drove the ball.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.