Woods' victory gives US captain Furyk reason to cheer

Tiger Woods speaking with US Ryder Cup team captain Jim Furyk during a practice session at Le Golf National Course, south-west of Paris yesterday. The biennial tournament against Europe starts on Friday.
Tiger Woods speaking with US Ryder Cup team captain Jim Furyk during a practice session at Le Golf National Course, south-west of Paris yesterday. The biennial tournament against Europe starts on Friday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

PARIS • Tiger Woods' victory at the Tour Championship on Sunday has given the entire American Ryder Cup team a "nice buzz", captain Jim Furyk said on Monday.

Furyk and his European counterpart Thomas Bjorn heaped praise on each other's teams at a press conference at Le Golf National in France, where the absent Woods was the centre of attention.

The 14-time Major champion ended a five-year drought with Sunday's win at East Lake in Atlanta.

"It's obviously a nice buzz for our team," Furyk said. "Not that this event needs much more energy brought to it.

"It's probably the biggest, grandest event in all of golf, but it'll add that much more excitement I believe. You could see the emotion in (Woods) fighting back tears. It was important to him to win."

Furyk added that Woods, who will be playing in his eighth Ryder Cup, had grown into his role as an elder statesman of the team.

"What's important to him right now is to be a part of that team, part of that group," he said.

"He won yesterday as an individual and I know how much that means to him, but he's flipped that page pretty quickly and is really excited to join his teammates and move forward in that process."

Bjorn also spoke warmly of what Woods brings to the sport.

"Him winning golf tournaments again is brilliant because, in the end, the game of golf needs that boost of somebody like him that transcends the game to the masses," the Dane said.

But he also insisted that his Europe Ryder Cup team will adopt a no-fear approach to facing Woods and has urged his players to focus on the American team as a whole.

"We'll go out and do what we can and play our game. What stands on the other side is one of the strongest American teams of all time," he said. "We know we've got to play our best to come up against this team. It's not one individual. It's the whole team we are up against."

Furyk's 12 players arrived in Paris early on Monday afternoon after an overnight flight from Atlanta, where all but Jordan Spieth played in the Tour Championship.

They are well aware that the Americans have not won a Ryder Cup in Europe since 1993, but the captain said they are all "settled" and trying to get ready for the tournament which starts on Friday. Six members of the European team also played in Atlanta, but Bjorn is also not worried about fatigue.

"One thing I learnt about the Ryder Cup is no matter how tired you are, you're going to carry yourself, the last bit of adrenaline you have in your body," he said.

"Achieving big things obviously takes a bit out of you, but they will carry themselves through this week because they're top athletes."

REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 26, 2018, with the headline 'Woods' victory gives US captain Furyk reason to cheer'. Print Edition | Subscribe