- Bob Harig, Senior Golf Writer
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MEDINAH, Ill. -- For the first time in his career, Tiger Woods will sit out a Ryder Cup session, relegated to the role of cheerleader while the rest of his teammates carry on at Medinah Country Club on Saturday morning.
Woods, who has played in 31 consecutive sessions, will take a seat after losing both of his matches with Steve Stricker on the opening day of the 39th Ryder Cup on Friday. The United States leads 5-3 despite those two defeats.
"We just don't want guys to be worn out," said U.S. captain Davis Love III. "We need Tiger and Steve in the afternoon (Saturday). We need Tiger and Steve on Sunday (in singles).
"There is so much that goes into this week. ... I think Tiger needs a rest, Steve needs a rest, I need a rest. It's a team effort, and Tiger and Steve are very supportive friends of mine. They told me they would do whatever I asked them to do, and I guarantee you, neither one of them are very happy about it. Not because they are sitting out, but because they have to wait until tomorrow afternoon to come back."
Woods was not available for comment after the Saturday morning pairings were announced, but last week he said he hoped to play all five matches.
"That's why we train, run all those miles, lift all those weights, so we're fit for these things," he said.
Love made it about rest, but clearly Woods' poor performance in Friday morning's foursomes had to factor into his decision. Woods hit only 2 of 7 fairways, and he and Stricker shot over par in the alternate-shot format, losing to Ian Poulter and Justin Rose 2 and 1.
The format returns to foursomes Saturday morning followed by four-ball in the afternoon.
"I didn't play very good this morning at all," Woods said. "I was hitting it awful and not doing anything well. But I hit it good this afternoon. I drove it great this afternoon and was in position, but we ran into a guy (Nicolas Colsaerts) who just made absolutely everything."
Woods and Stricker made nine birdies in fourball -- with Woods making seven -- but lost 1 up to the team of Lee Westwood and Colsaerts, who had eight birdies and an eagle.
The 0-2 mark left Woods at 13-16-2 in his seven Ryder Cup appearances -- just one defeat short of the U.S. record held by Phil Mickelson, who won two points Friday alongside Keegan Bradley. Woods never has missed a session at the Presidents Cup, going 20-14-1 in 35 matches spanning seven appearances.
"We just felt like we don't want anybody to have to play five matches on this golf course," Love said. "It's tough."
Only Mickelson and Bradley have a chance to play all five. They are paired together again Saturday morning.
All 12 players on both teams play in Sunday's singles.