The Latest on the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National (all times local):
Tiger just met another Tiger.
The biggest name in golf took a break from putting practice at the Ryder Cup to get introduced to the teams who contested the junior version of the event on Monday and Tuesday.
As Woods shook the hands of the youngsters standing in a line, he reached a British player named Robin Williams, whose middle name is Tiger.
“You’re a big inspiration to me, thank you,” the youngster said to Woods, who approached him and gave him a pat.
Woods asked Williams, who is 17 years old and from Peterborough in England, if he would be conflicted when the Ryder Cup begins Friday.
“You can root for Europe,” Woods said, “but hope I go 5-0.”
Hold off on that return of a Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson pairing in the Ryder Cup.
U.S. captain Jim Furyk says it’s “probably not too likely.”
Mickelson raised speculation the day before by saying he and Woods would welcome a chance to play together, adding that he knows the way Furyk is thinking without revealing what he knew.
The question posed to Furyk on Wednesday was how he would feel about “dusting down Hal Sutton’s 10-gallon hat?”
That was a reference to Sutton being the captain in 2004 when he sent out Woods and Mickelson twice, both losses. Sutton, who grew up in Louisiana and now lives in Texas, wore a cowboy hat that U.S. caddies had presented to him the morning the matches began.
“I guess nothing’s out of the realm,” Furyk said. “They did play some golf yesterday. I think they both mentioned it would be a lot better pairing than it was in the past. I’m not really from Texas, so we don’t wear a lot of 10-gallon hats in Pennsylvania.
“I won’t ever say it wouldn’t happen, but it’s probably not too likely.”
Jon Rahm was willing to show some deference as one of five European rookies at the Ryder Cup. That didn’t last long, especially when it came to the social media network that Europe is using this week.
Rahm and Rory McIlroy played together during the first practice sessions, and McIlroy was hitting it well past him off the tee. When they finished, Rahm was on the massage table and had fallen asleep because of jet lag. He says McIlroy took a picture of him in nothing but his underwear, posted it on the team WhatsApp network and said the Spaniard couldn’t handle McIlroy outdriving him.
Rahm laughs telling the story and says all bets were off at that point.
“Once I realized what the tone was going to be, within 30 seconds, here we go,” Rahm said. “It’s pretty much free-wheel to say what you want to anybody, which is obviously a great thing because we all have a lot of fun.”
Rory McIlroy says the goal for Europe in the Ryder Cup is to beat the Americans, not just Tiger Woods.
McIlroy was paired in the final group with Woods at East Lake when the 14-time major champion won for the first time in more than five years. Woods has been the dominant figure in golf for the better part of two decades, and he created an enormous buzz with his 80th career victory.
This week, Woods is one of 12 players on a U.S. team that has not won the Ryder Cup on European soil since 1993, when Woods was still in high school.
McIlroy says it’s silly to focus on one player and that he might not even see Woods at Le Golf National if they are not in the same match.