Sports

Woods turned down Ryder Cup captain offer to focus on PGA Tour-PIF talks

July 9 (Reuters) – Tiger Woods said on Tuesday he rejected the U.S. captaincy for the 2025 Ryder Cup due to his time-consuming role in the PGA Tour’s talks with the Saudi backers of LIV Golf but that does not mean he will never lead the team in the future.

Woods, who was the overwhelming favourite to take over as captain, released a statement that was read by PGA of America Senior Director Julius Mason during newly-appointed Ryder Cup captain Keegan Bradley’s introductory news conference.

“With my new responsibilities to the Tour and time commitments involved, I felt I would not be able to commit the time to Team USA and the players required as a captain,” Woods’ statement read.

“That does not mean I wouldn’t want to captain a team in the future. If and when I feel it is the right time, I will put my hat in the ring for this committee to decide.”

The 48-year-old Woods is part of a subcommittee that is engaged in direct negotiations with the Saudi Public Investment Fund as the two sides try to sort out a potential deal that would bring the fractured sport back together.

Woods, who plays a limited schedule, discussed the captaincy with the PGA of America and, given his experience as a player and assistant at the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, was widely expected to lead the team into Bethpage Black.

Bradley has not yet talked to anyone about serving as one of his vice captains but did speak with Woods and told the 15-times major champion that he can be as involved as he wants to be with the 2025 Ryder Cup team.

“We as players all look up to Tiger and his opinion means a lot to us,” said Bradley. “Being in team rooms with Tiger, the public doesn’t realise how important this (the Ryder Cup) is to him. It’s everything.

“He lives and breathes this event, and I think it shows you how much he cares by turning this position down because he didn’t feel like he could put in what he needed to do with all of his responsibilities with what’s going on with the tour.”

Bradley, who has two Ryder Cup appearances but was left off the 2023 squad despite recording two wins that year, also said his team will be made up of the best players regardless of whether they play on the PGA Tour or with LIV Golf.

“I’m going to have the 12 best players on the team,” said Bradley. “I don’t care where they play.” (Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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