The European Tour, Welsh tourist board and Sir Terry Matthews can all heave a big sigh of relief – Tiger Woods will be in Newport as part of the USA team for the Ryder Cup.
After a year of off-course intrusion and on-course mediocrity, Tiger Woods has been handed a wildcard spot by USA captain Corey Pavin in the hope he can steer the USA team to a win in Wales.
Major winners Stewart Cink and Zach Johnson join Tiger as wildcard picks but the surprise inclusion for many will be young Rickie Fowler, whose attention to on-course fashion marks him out as a future Ian Poulter.
Fowler’s record in the Walker Cup is impressive with seven wins and one defeat in his eight matches, and Pavin admits to a “gut feeling” that Fowler will be an asset to the USA team.
Team USA are currently 13/8 to retain the Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor resort, and they will be up against a European team that has two of the four major winners from this season and Padraig Harrington, a three-time major winner.
The inclusion of Woods will be a controversial choice with some in the American camp, his form has been inconsistent this year, as is his record in the competition and it’s common knowledge that he and Phil Mickelson don’t see eye to eye.
The inclusion of Fowler means the USA will be bringing five rookies, the others being Bubba Watson, Jeff Overton, Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar.
But with Europe’s six Ryder Cup rookies, the USA will be hoping that the experience that Woods, Cink and Zach Johnson will bring will be the key to them retaining the Ryder Cup.
Europe are 8/13 to win the Ryder Cup. See the full Ryder Cup golf betting market here.