Sunday, October 3, 2010
Tiger Woods, Steve Stricker routed
By Bob Harig
NEWPORT, Wales -- There have been many low moments on the golf course this year for Tiger Woods. Another one was added to the list on Sunday afternoon at Celtic Manor.
Along with partner Steve Stricker, Woods suffered his worst defeat in six Ryder Cup appearances, a 6 and 5 loss to Europeans Luke Donald and Lee Westwood.
That means the foursomes match ended on the 13th hole.
His worst previous loss at the Ryder Cup was a 5 and 3 loss with partner Mark O'Meara at the 1997 Ryder Cup, to Bernhard Langer and Colin Montgomerie.
Sunday's result was the first of the third-session matches to end, but was a harbinger of things to come. The Europeans took 5½ of a possible six points on the day to take a 9½ to 6½ lead heading into Monday's 12 singles matches.
Despite the setback, Woods and Stricker combined to go 2-1 in their team matches and are now 6-1 dating to last year's Presidents Cup where the pairing was first unveiled.
Woods and Stricker made six birdies in the same alternate shot format on Saturday, hence the reason U.S. captain Corey Pavin sent them out again in the third session; he could have elected to put them together in one of the four best-ball matches, which means the players play their own ball.
The move backfired, however, as the team went 3 down after five holes and never recovered.
Woods, 34, is suffering through his first winless season on the PGA Tour, with just one more official event on his schedule, next month's HSBC Champions in China.
He has a career-low two top-10 finishes -- ties for fourth at the Masters and U.S. Open -- and also had his worst 72-hole event at the Bridgestone Invitational where he finished 18-over par. The following week, Woods began working with swing instructor Sean Foley.
Stricker and Woods, who played just four holes on Sunday, were left to root on their teammates and await the singles pairings for Monday.
Woods has a 3-1-1 record in Ryder Cup singles, his only defeat coming in 1997 to Italy's Constantino Rocco at a Ryder Cup the U.S. lost 14½ to 13½.
Bob Harig covers golf for ESPN.com.