Golf

Woods hopes to end his Ryder Cup struggles

Tiger Woods rediscovered his former glories by claiming his first title in over five years last weekend, but now he turns his attentions to a competition he has never dominated - the Ryder Cup.

The 14-time major champion was peerless for 11 years as an individual, although struggled with the team dynamics of the match-play showdown and has only been on the winning side once in seven previous appearances.

His return from the wilderness of back surgeries and personal problems has brought about the opportunity to have another crack at the Ryder Cup in France.

Here, Woods looks more relaxed and at ease among his teammates after serving as a vice-captain at Hazeltine two years ago and at the 2017 Presidents Cup.

And Woods is hoping that in the new stage of his career, and after his stunning victory at the Tour Championship, he can help the United States end their 25-year wait for a win on European soil.

"We haven't done well," he admitted to reporters at Le Golf National yesterday.

"My overall Ryder Cup record, not having won as a player since 1999 is something that hopefully we can change.

"We haven't won as a US squad here in 25 years on foreign soil, so hopefully that will change this week, as well."

The 42-year-old, at Le Golf National for the first time since in 1994 as an amateur, unsurprisingly looked in an upbeat mood playing alongside possible partner Bryson DeChambeau, old adversary Phil Mickelson and Patrick Reed in practice.

Woods looked to have carried his strong play from tee to green from East Lake to Paris, as he and his teammates took their time trying to come to grips with the vagaries of the undulating areas around the Albatros greens.

A different reception will surely face him when the competition starts, though, after he was greeted warmly by the French spectators, many of whom would never have seen him play before. - AFP

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