For all he has achieved as a professional golfer, Tiger Woods has not fared especially well in his previous seven Ryder Cup appearances.
He has played 33 matches over the various formats of the team match-play competition and his record stands at 13 wins, 17 losses and 3 draws.
He has done all right in the singles format.
His record going head-to-head with the opposition has netted four wins against just one loss, with two drawn matches. His results in foursomes are where things start to fall apart. He has won four, lost eight and halved one. In four-balls, he has won five, lost eight and halved none.
Woods is within three medal play victories of passing Sam Snead for the all-time record in tour wins and his progress this year seems to bode well for that record falling next season.
The four Majors he needs to draw level with Jack Nicklaus in that category present more of a challenge. The Golden Bear himself seems to think Woods can equal or pass him and he has said so on numerous occasions, but not without a slightly snide caveat that Woods plays with better equipment than he, Nicklaus, had when he played.
What would explain Woods’ inability to equal his success in the four-day medal play events compared to what he has done in match play?
It would seem to be a question of timing.
In the newer Presidents Cup, Woods has been a beast. He has more Singles points, six, than any other player, with six matches won, two lost and none halved. He is also tied with five others in terms of most points in a singles contest, so the difference between match and stroke play would not provide much insight.
Of the top 10 Ryder Cup players of all time, however, American golfers are scarce. The list includes Arnold Palmer at number eight, Tom Kite at number three and Lanny Wadkins at number two.
Notice the absence from that list of Nicklaus, who played Ryder Cup golf six times. His career record of 16 wins, eight losses and three halves is far superior to Woods, with Nicklaus doing far better in group play.