According to fellow vice –captain Tom Lehman, Tiger Woods’ presence in the US team for the Ryder Cup will be a huge plus point for the team. In this context, it must also be noted that Tiger Woods, who is a 14 times major winner, has won just one of his six Ryder Cups as a player. Justifying his stand on Tiger, Lehman said, “There is no peer when it comes to breaking down and attacking a course. He has a level of strategic analysis that nobody else can match.”
Tiger Wood’s presence in the US team also seems to have upset some of the players of the opponent team in the Ryder Cup. This is evident from the statement from Europe vice-captain Padraig Harrington who said that some of his teammates could find the presence of Tiger in the US team as “off-putting”. However, Harrington further added that the presence of Woods in this, the biennial competition, could go both ways. Harrington was on the winning side in four of his six appearances as a player in the Ryder Cup. Lee Westwood, Europe’s captain on an earlier occasion, had suggested that the presence of Tiger could have an adverse impact on US’s chances in the Ryder Cup. Paul Azinger, ace US golfer, while refuting the claims of Westwood, said that Europe Ryder Cup team captain’s comments on Tiger could backfire.
In an interview with BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek programme Padraig Harrington, elaborating his position on Tiger, said, “I don’t think we’d be sending our team out, especially the rookies, and not making it clear in their head that Tiger could be stood there watching the tee shots. Some of these rookies have never played with Tiger, never really experienced him. Clearly, it could be off-putting for either team. For us guys playing now he’s the greatest golfer we’ll ever see, he can be quite intimidating in that sense unless you’re prepared for it.”
Colin Montgomerie, who was the winning captain of the US team in 2010 Ryder Cup, says that Tiger’s presence in the team may put additional pressure in the debutantes of the Europe team.
In a report published in dailymail.co.uk, Andy North, who is former US open championships winner, said that “Tiger Woods would be a Terrific Ryder Cup vice-captain. North said that Tiger’s ‘competitiveness’, his ‘swagger’, will be a big deal.”