The question has been answered: Tiger Woods will not be on the American Ryder Cup team.
Woods announced late Wednesday that he will not play competitive golf again until his World Challenge event in Orlando in December, meaning he will not take part in the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles at the end of September -- even if asked by Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson.
In a statement on his website, Woods explained he was urged by his team to not play again until December.
"I've been told by my doctors and trainer that my back muscles need to be rehabilitated and healed," Woods said. "They've advised me not to play or practice now. I was fortunate that my recent back injury [at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational] was not related to my surgery and was muscular only."
Captain Watson predicated any decision to add Woods to his team as a wild-card pick on two things: Woods was healthy and playing well. He missed the cut at the PGA Championship last week and was visibly hobbling, looking hurt. He met neither criteria, so it was natural for Woods, who is also not eligible for either the FedEx Cup playoffs or even the Web.com Tour Finals, to sit out until his next event.
"I have already spoken to 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 added. "The U.S. 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 U.S. team. I think we have an outstanding squad going into the matches."
Woods' next start, much like the one at the Quicken Loans National that began this run of four tournaments, will be at an event which benefits his foundation.
"It's an event that's important to me and my foundation," he said, "and it will be exciting to be playing again."