Golf is a game of putting the ball into the bottom of the cup with the fewest possible strokes, regardless of what scoring format is used.
Why then, is one of the greatest players in the history of the game, Tiger Woods, so grossly incompetent at match play?
His season-long resurgence this year has seen him rise to the verge of the realm he once occupied as the number one ranked player in the world. His return was capped with a victory in the final US PGA event of the season and it seemed as though US Ryder Cup Captain Jim Furyk has spent one of his captain’s picks wisely by selecting Woods to the 12-man squad.
Winning the Tour Championship in the week before the Ryder Cup, Woods had climbed the rankings ladder from down in four-digit territory to arrive at the number 13 spot of the Official World Golf Ranking.
One of the Woods’ statistics that fairly leaps off the page is that during the course of his PGA career, he has played 346 events and made 316 cuts.
Yet, whenever he is asked to participate in head-to-head match play or team match play events, he plays less like a tiger and more like a puppy dog.
In this year’s Ryder Cup in France, Woods lost all four of his matches. For his Ryder Cup career, he has won 13 times, lost 21 times and halved three matches.
By contrast, the most successful Ryder Cup player of all time is Colin Montgomerie, who never won one solitary event on the US PGA Tour and earned less money in his career than Woods did last season.
Montgomerie played one fewer Ryder Cup match than Woods has played, but is third on the all-time list of Ryder Cup points won, with his 23.5 being better than Arnold Palmer’s 23.
Woods, on the other hand, ranks third on the Ryder Cup list for having lost more matches than any American other than Jim Furyk and Phil Mickelson.