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Old 09-19-2002, 06:32 PM   #1
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Normal Nice One Tiger Wood$

Woods downplays Ryder Cup after 65

Associated Press

THOMASTOWN, Ireland (Sept. 19) -- No one can accuse Tiger Woods of looking ahead to next week's Ryder Cup.

Woods birdied the last two holes Thursday for a 7-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead in the American Express Championship, a tournament he said means more to him than winning that little exhibition next week at The Belfry.

Asked which was more important, Woods chose an individual title and the $1 million check over a team victory and a 14-inch gold chalice.

"Why? I can think of a million reasons," Woods said.

Woods has never had much success in the Ryder Cup, going 3-6-1. Earlier this week, he complained that the team concept doesn't allow him to prepare for the matches the way he would any other big tournament.

And he made it clear after setting his bogey-free 65 at Mount Juliet that his focus is squarely on winning his sixth tournament of the year, and a World Golf Championship event for the fourth straight season.

"This is a big event. These are the best players in the world," he said. "You're playing stroke play on a great golf course. That's pretty important. I'm not saying the Ryder is not important. It's a completely different animal.

"You can play absolutely lousy and the team can win, or you can play absolutely great and win all five matches, and lose the Ryder Cup."

It was blunt assessment about the Ryder Cup, one sure to delight the British tabloids.

The Americans already are perceived as 12 money-hungry individuals instead of one team, especially after the great debate over Ryder Cup revenues in 1999.

And Woods isn't hurting for money. His endorsements pay him about $60 million a year. He gets more than $2 million just for showing up at most tournaments overseas, and his PGA Tour earnings have already surpassed $31 million.

Woods said he enjoys the Ryder Cup when the matches are played from Friday to Sunday, but he doesn't like the galas and black-tie dinners. The Ryder Cup has never been a top priority for him.

Woods said he was disappointed by his performance at Valderrama in the '97 matches, when he went 1-3-1 and lost to former factory worker Costantino Rocca in singles as Europe retained the Ryder Cup.

"I think everyone who loses points is going to feel responsible," he said.

How would he feel if he lost all five of his matches next week at The Belfry, and the United States still won the precious gold cup?

"Again, disappointed, because I wasn't able to contribute to the effort," Woods said. "But I would be proud of my teammates for playing as well as they did if I was 0-5."

The feeling wasn't mutual. Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland said he would gladly trade a victory and dlrs 1 million this week for Europe to win the Ryder Cup.

"There are more chances for winning World Golf Championship events than Ryder Cups," Clarke said.

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Old 09-21-2002, 05:16 AM   #2
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Re: Nice One Tiger Wood$

Originally posted by brettig
"You can play absolutely lousy and the team can win, or you can play absolutely great and win all five matches, and lose the Ryder Cup."
you don't need to be a teamplayer to play great golf I guess

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Old 09-21-2002, 03:53 PM   #3
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I watched some of his round today, which wasnt as earth-shattering as the previous 2, but still really excellent stuff (actually I'm not a golfer, I'd like to be, but I just watch it on tv sometimes).

Anyway, the guy is bloody scary, his approach on the 18th was incredible. Thank God one man cant win the Ryder Cup, though I dont hold out much hope for the european team this year judging by the form they seem to be in
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Old 09-21-2002, 06:26 PM   #4
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What is more disappointing? His lack of team enthusiasm or his desire to get his hands on another million? We cant be critical of how he approaches his game.
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Old 09-21-2002, 10:05 PM   #5
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I think its a bit of both ang, he's already got more money than he can ever spend, and his being a loner like that is disappointing, even a guy like Faldo who had a reputation for being selfish, always put it on the line in the Ryder Cup. Those words just sound a bit mean spirited coming from a guy in Tiger's position.
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Old 09-21-2002, 10:51 PM   #6
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if you ask the person more're gonna hear more stupid answers

well for someone seemingly concerned with money, he is showing little regard for nike and buick's investment in him(especially buick who are presently running 'throwback to the 40-50's' ads featuring tiger.

regardless, he's gonna win both anyway. well i don't see the US losing next week.
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Old 09-22-2002, 09:13 AM   #7
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Tiger seems to be taking the route of other American athletes in recent years and only playing for himself. Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi consistenly turned down David Cup, Sampras wouldn't even compete at the '96 Olympics in Atlanta on his home court! Venus and Serena Williams are as dominant in women's tennis as Tiger is in golf, and yet they won't play for the US in Fed Cup. I guess it's tradition for the best American players to only play for themselves...

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