Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

October 9, 2012

Tiger eyes leading US at Ryder Cup — just not yet

BELEK, Turkey — Tiger Woods hopes to captain the U.S. Ryder Cup team someday. He still plans to play in a few more before that happens.

The 14-time major winner is coming off a disappointing performance at Medinah. He secured only half a point in his seventh Ryder Cup appearance as Europe retained the title Sept. 30.

"One day that would be fantastic and a huge honor to be a captain of a Ryder Cup team, but hopefully it doesn't happen in the near future," Woods said. "I still want to be playing on a lot more teams but certainly one day, when my golfing life is slowing down and when it's over, that would be a huge honor to be a part of a Ryder Cup from a captaincy side."

Woods arrived Monday for the $5.3 million Turkish Airways World Golf Finals, an eight-player event being promoted simply as "Tiger v Rory."

Woods tied Raymond Floyd for the U.S. record for most losses in foursomes (8) after pairing with Steve Stricker on Friday. He also went down in the fourballs Friday and Saturday afternoon with Stricker.

After playing only once on the winning team, in 1999, Woods is stinging at the latest loss.

"It didn't set in for me for a few days as to what happened in Medinah. I had two sick kids I had to care for and they also had to go to school. They had fevers and I was focused on them for a couple of days," he said. "I then started to talk to my friends and teammates, and once it all started to sink in — and the position we had been in and what transpired — yes, it was tough for a couple of days.

"I texted Freddie (Couples) and Steve (Stricker) quite a bit, and like anything it is a tournament lost and you have to move on and focus on the next event. We lose far more than we win in this sport and you learn to move on. The next event is this week here in Turkey, and I've got a good matchup with Charl (Schwartzel)."

Unlike Woods, Rory McIlroy has been to Turkey before, supporting tennis star girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki for a season-ending event.

Wozniacki is here to support McIlroy this time, and the top-ranked golfer is looking forward to getting back into the swing after the euphoria of the Ryder Cup.

"It's going to be a very exciting week with eight of the best players in the world, and the people of Turkey are going to see an event they've never seen before," McIlroy said. "I am still trying to come down from the high of the Ryder Cup, but it's just nice to be here.

"I haven't touched a club since the Ryder Cup as I've just been chilling out with Caroline, so I will get to the golf course early tomorrow morning and see if it's still there."

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