Tiger Woods informed the PGA of America that he has taken himself out of consideration for a spot on the US Ryder Cup team, ensuring that he’ll miss the biennial matches for just the second time since his 1997 debut.
The PGA made the announcement on Wednesday night, with Woods issuing a Twitter message a few minutes later, directing traffic to his website, where he explained his decision.
“I have already spoken to [US captain] Tom [Watson] about the Ryder Cup, and while I greatly appreciate his thinking about me for a possible captain’s pick, I took myself out of consideration,” Woods said in the message. “The US team and the Ryder Cup mean too much to me not to be able to give it my best. I’ll be cheering for the US team. I think we have an outstanding squad going into the matches.”
Woods missed three months earlier this year after undergoing back surgery in March, then suffered another back injury Aug. 3, forcing him to withdraw from the final round of the Bridgestone Invitational. After much conjecture on if he would play in last week’s PGA Championship, Woods showed up the day before the tournament started, played a nine-hole practice round, then proceeded to miss the cut in a major championship for just the fourth time as a professional, shooting 74-74 at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.
After his second-round 74, Woods said he needed to get back into the gym and get his back muscles stronger. Because of injuries, Woods was limited to seven starts on the PGA Tour this season. His best finish was a tie for 25th.
“I’ve been told by my doctors and trainer that my back muscles need to be rehabilitated and healed,” Woods said in Wednesday’s message on his website. “They’ve advised me not to play or practice now. I was fortunate that my recent back injury was not related to my surgery and was muscular only.”
The only other time Woods has not played in the Ryder Cup since his first appearance was in 2008, when he was recovering from knee surgery. The US won the Ryder Cup that year at Valhalla, the only American victory since the 1999 matches at The Country Club in Brookline.
Woods has a record of 13-17-3 in his Ryder Cup career, including 4-1-2 in singles.
Even though he was only 70th in the US team points standings — the top nine after the PGA automatically qualified — Woods was still being considered by Watson, who will make his three captain’s picks on Sept. 2.
“I’ve said it consistently all the way through the issue with Tiger after his injury. If he’s healthy and is playing well, I’ll pick him,” Watson said on Monday.
Now he won’t. If all goes to plan, Woods said he will make his next tournament start at the World Challenge, a tournament he hosts. It will be played at Isleworth Country Club in Orlando, Dec. 1-7.
“It’s an event that’s important to me and my foundation, and it will be exciting to be playing again,” Woods said.Michael Whitmer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.