Tiger Woods took himself out of consideration for the U.S. Ryder Cup team Wednesday when he announced on his website that doctors have advised him not to play competitively until December.
“I’ve been told by my doctors and trainer that my back muscles need to be rehabilitated and healed. They’ve advised me not to play or practice now,” Woods wrote. “I have already spoken to Tom (Watson) about the Ryder Cup, and while I greatly appreciate his thinking about me for a possible captain’s pick, I took myself out of consideration.
“The U.S. team and the Ryder Cup mean too much to me not to be able to give it my best. I’ll be cheering for the U.S. team. I think we have an outstanding squad going into the matches.
“I plan to return to competition at my World Challenge tournament at Isleworth in Orlando, Fla., Dec. 1-7. It’s an event that’s important to me and my foundation, and it will be exciting to be playing again.”
In a Monday news conference, Watson had said he would rely on Woods to tell him if he felt physically ready to play in late September in Scotland. Woods answered that question with his announcement.
It was apparent at the PGA Championship that Woods was still being bothered by back issues that forced his withdrawal from the WCG-Bridgestone Invitational a week earlier.
With Woods no longer an option for one of his three captain’s picks, Watson will have more to consider before making his announcement Sept. 2. Among the likely contenders for the three spots are Keegan Bradley, Ryan Moore, Brandt Snedeker, Brendon Todd and Steve Stricker.