‘I lost three matches and didn’t play poorly’ says frustrated Tiger
Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (France) (AFP) – Tiger Woods said that he “didn’t play poorly” on Saturday, despite sliding to his third straight defeat of the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National as Europe grabbed a 10-6 lead to take into the singles.
The 14-time major champion and Patrick Reed suffered a second fourballs loss to Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood, 4 and 3, in the morning before Woods was brushed aside by the same pairing alongside Bryson DeChambeau in the foursomes, 5 and 4.
Woods was the star attraction this week in France after capping an incredible comeback season after injury with his first title since 2013 last weekend.
But even at his imperious best, he was never a strong Ryder Cup player when in a pairing, and he has now won only nine, lost 19 and halved one of his 29 fourballs and foursomes matches in the event.
Woods was unlucky in some respects — being partnered with a totally out-of-sorts Reed, and also being drawn against the red-hot Molinari and Fleetwood duo three times.
“Just pretty pissed off, the fact that I lost three matches, and didn’t feel like I played poorly,” said Woods.
“That’s the frustrating thing about match play. We can play well and nothing can happen. We ran against two guys that were both playing well and when one was out of the hole, especially in best-ball, the other one made birdie and vice versa.
“They did that a lot to us. At one point, they made six out of eight birdies on the back nine, and only one person was in the hole at a time. That’s the nature of match play.”
The United States will need to equal the record Ryder Cup comeback if they are to retain the trophy on Sunday, after their thrilling win in the 1999 “Battle of Brookline” and Europe’s triumph at Medinah six years ago.
But Woods has a far better record in singles play, having only lost one of seven matches, while also lifting the WGC World Matchplay title three times.
The 42-year-old has been trusted as the fourth man out for the US in the singles, where he’ll be facing European rookie Jon Rahm.
“We’ve got some work to do tomorrow,” said Woods. “Hopefully we can get off to a quick start and get up in some of these matches, and turn the tide a little bit.”
– Reed’s nightmare –
Reed badly let down the former world number one in the fourballs on both days.
The reigning Masters champion endured a nightmare round on Saturday, hitting multiple balls into the water, spending much of his time in the rough, and even hitting one tee shot out of bounds and almost into a spectator shopping area.
Woods played down his teammate’s horror show, though, admitting that it was a similar story to 24 hours before, when they lost 3 and 1 to Molinari and Fleetwood.
“We fought back from 2-down to get it to all-square,” he said. “And then we didn’t do anything from there. They made a bunch of birdies, and we didn’t answer.”
“I’m sure Patrick is disappointed,” Furyk said. “The guy has got more heart, more will, loves the Ryder Cup as much as anyone I know, and we put him in a position tomorrow where I feel like he’s a very important player.”