Tiger Woods backs decision to delay Ryder Cup until 2021

Tiger Woods refused to reveal his Ryder Cup captaincy ambitions for 2023 as he agreed with the decision to postpone this year’s contest.

Kevin Na inadvertently let the “Big Cat” our of the bag in an interview with Sky Sports in May, when he appeared to suggest that Woods had already been earmarked as captain for Team USA at the Ryder Cup in Italy.

Woods enjoyed a successful debut as a playing team captain at the Presidents Cup last year, but when asked if he was looking ahead to succeeding Steve Stricker in the Autumn of 2023 he insisted: “We haven’t looked that far.”

Ahead of his first post-shutdown competitive appearance at this week’s Memorial Tournament, Woods said last week’s decision to delay the 49th Ryder Cup for 12 months was “the right thing”.

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“Quite frankly, a Ryder Cup without fans is not the Ryder Cup,” said Woods, who will play the first two rounds with Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka at Muirfield Village. “When the Ryder Cup first started there weren’t that many people involved in the game.

“But the world has expanded, the event has expanded, and as far as I can remember, I’ve always seen people involved in a Ryder Cup and the chanting and screaming and the participation, the bipartisanship that has been part of the sport and part of the event. I think what they did with suspending it for the year and moving it to next year was the right thing.

“We couldn’t have an environment in which we could protect all the fans that were going to be involved and have that type of insurance. Obviously if that’s the case, you can’t have the fans. Well, if you can’t have the fans, then it’s not the Ryder Cup.

“We did the right thing in holding off for the year, and now from the US side, we’re going to have to figure out how we’re going to accumulate points, how many players Strick is going to be able to pick and figure that out, and build our team from there.”

Woods also warned of the dangers of “hurting the innocent” when questioned about the Black Lives Matter movement and how society has changed since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

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The 15-time major champion issued a short statement on social media following the outrage, which he described as a “shocking tragedy” and compared the explosive situation to that of the Los Angles riots in 1991 following the Rodney King beating at the hands of four police officers.

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