Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tiger and the Ryder Cup

On pure playing merits Tiger Woods does not deserve to be on this year's Ryder Cup team, at least barring a miraculous turnaround in this week's PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. Yet if Tiger wants to be on the Ryder Cup team, I think he warrants a place.

Put it this way: If I am Tiger's agent and I know Woods wants to play for the US and I know that Captain Corey Pavin is on the fence I make a phone call, and my pitch goes something like this:

"How much money have you made since 1997, Corey? How much money do you think the eleven other members of the Ryder Cup team have made since 1997? We can quibble about it -- but without Tiger you can cut those numbers somewhere between 40% and 60%. Don't you think Tiger has earned you all enough to get a shot at this year's Ryder Cup?"

I'm not saying Tiger should pursue this line. But I am saying that if he chooses to, his colleagues owe most of what they now have to his successes in the past decade-and-a-half.


Whitney Wilson said...

Perhaps just as importantly, don't you think NBC is making telephone calls to Pavin that go something like this: "Corey, we've paid an enormous amount of money to televise this event, and other sponsors who hope to gain exposure through our telecast have spent additional millions. We know that having Tiger on the team will up the ratings, by a lot. He needs to be invited to be on the team."

dcat said...

Whitney --
Yeah, you have to think that pressure will be none too subtle from everyone with a rooting interest. Of course Tiger could help himself immensely just by giving them an excuse to take him -- after last weekend's debacle one has to assume that a top ten in Wisconsin will look great by comparison. I doubt Pavin is looking for reasons NOT to take Tiger.


Whitney Wilson said...

I'm pretty surprised that Tiger was so emphatic that he wanted to play. It certainly seems inconsistent with previous Ryder Cup teams (or a least the public perception about his enthusiasm for the event). I'm not expecting him to play well this weekend, but I guess it wouldn't be too surprising if he did.

dcat said...

Tiger has also never been that GOOD at Ryder Cup play. But I bet being a team player is a huge part of the rehabilitation process.

I'd like to see Tiger rebound, but I suspect 2011 will be his rebound year. I have a bet with a buddy over whether or not Tiger will break jack's record, and a trip to the British Open is riding on it, so it is in my interest for the rehabilitation to happen soon!


mojoranger said...

You have valid points on the presssure from above on Pavin, but having Tiger play because of his name when he is not playing well is ridiculous. Yes, he could catch fire at any time, but that seems unlikely. The lack of concentration from Woods is not typical of what we are used to seeing. He is clearly distracted and unable to comparmentalize as he has in the past.
Your logic on how much money Tiger has made for Pavin and other team members fails me. By the same logic, Pavin should invite Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer since their popularity helped propel the sport to where it was when Tiger came along. They, too, are responsible for increasing the paydays of all players.
What! You say they are too old and couldn't win! Well, Tiger can't win right now the way he's playing either.

dcat said...

Mojo -
Your argumentative technique is known as argument ad absurdum. here is a not-so-subtle difference between Tiger and, say, Jack or Palmer:

Who, based on their playing dominance, is the number one ranked player in the world right now, on the Sunday of the PGA championship?

Yeah -- it's Tiger Woods.

Furthermore, Tiger is still in a position to make the Ryder Cup team on his own merits, and beyond that, what we're talking about with captain's picks is hardly someone who is guaranteed to do better than Tiger.

Furthermore, Tiger has been awful by his own standards, not necessarily by the standards of all pro golfers. This is a huge difference -- the narrative on Tiger has placed him as a victim of his own awesomeness.

If Tier wants to play the Ryder Cup, he should play. It's really as simple as that.


Thunderstick said...

I thoroughly believe Tiger's sole reason for stating that he wants to play the Ryder Cup is image rehabilitation and wanting to look like a team player given how lukewarm he's always been towards this event. I think this stance might immensely backfire on him. It'd be one thing if he was just playing poorly. But he's a firestorm for negative media now and in the Ryder Cup, it's not going to have to be just him answering the questions about his off the course indescretions. So if he's playing this poorly and he forces the hand to take him and the US loses and he sucks over there and loses all his matches, people are going to say this is just another example of Tiger thinking he can do whatever he wants because he's Tiger Woods and he doesn't care who he hurts, be it his wife and kids because he wants to have sex with porn stars or his teammates by making them put him on the team and then costing them the Ryder Cup through a combination of poor play and distractions from the media crush that he brings down on them. His best move, both for himself and to be a good teammate, is likely to just go away saying he still has work on his personal life that he needs to do and call it a year ASAP and come back next year.