Sergio García believes that America in 2008 were a better Ryder Cup team because Tiger Woods was not there. Some have thought it, few have had the guts to say it.
Still in contention at the Abu Dhabi Championship on Saturday, García made a compelling case for why Woods is not good for the American team at the Ryder Cup.
The 30 year-old Spaniard said: “Tiger’s absence made a difference. It made some of the other players step it up. They wanted to show everyone they could win without Tiger. Maybe when he’s there, he’s the leader and everyone falls in behind him. Without him, everyone wanted to be the leader. They played amazing golf. You could see a different energy in the team.”
You will not get American captain Corey Pavin to agree. Pavin says: “The perception is that having Tiger in the team can cause problems internally. The perception is wrong. I watched him in 2006 and walked every step of the way with him the first two days of the matches. I looked into his eyes and I could see how much he wanted to win.”
The only thing that Pavin and García are likely to agree on is that the American victory two years ago was good for the competition. García says: “They needed to win the Ryder Cup badly. It had been three in a row for us and five out of the last six.
“Four in a row would have been a big hit for them. For the Americans to win the last Ryder Cup was probably the best thing that’s happened to the Ryder Cup. Now Corey has to find the Tiger solution, but that’s not our problem.
“We will just do our own thing and build our own momentum. We can get the Ryder Cup back.”