Tiger Woods is not guaranteed to play in a maximum five matches against Europe in next month's Ryder Cup, Corey Pavin, the United States captain, said yesterday. The No 1-ranked Woods, who was chosen as one of Pavin's four wild-card picks last week, will be playing in his sixth Ryder Cup but has been on the winning side only once, in 1999.
"I am going to treat every player the same. The objective is to try to win the Ryder Cup and if in my judgement I think Tiger is to play five matches, or should play four or three, then that is what I will do - that's my call as captain," Pavin told BBC Radio. "For me, it's how he's playing golf. That's my concern as far as the Ryder Cup goes." Woods, a 14-time major winner but without a tournament victory this year, has picked up 11 points from a possible 25 in the Ryder Cup. He has won three of his five singles matches but only seven of 20 matches in foursomes and fourballs, which are played in pairs on the opening two days. He also has two halves.
Woods was missing with a leg injury when the US won back the trophy from Europe at Valhalla, New York, in 2008. "Tiger told me he will do whatever is necessary to help the team win, and that is going to be my call, and I will probably be making that decision a little bit on the fly. But I'm not afraid to not play him every match, that's for sure," Pavin said. "The objective is to win the match and that's what I'm going to be trying to do, whatever that takes."
The Ryder Cup will be played at Celtic Manor in Wales from October 1-3. Meanwhile, Peter Karmis sealed the first Asian Tour title of his career with a wire-to-wire victory at the inaugural Handa Singapore Classic yesterday. The South African carded a one-under-par 71 to edge his compatriot Jbe Kruger (69) by two strokes at Orchid Country Club. Karmis had started the day with a healthy four-stroke advantage and made a promising opening to his final round with a birdie on the first. He bogeyed the par-five third and though he recovered with a birdie on the seventh, he immediately dropped a shot on the next hole to reach the turn at even-par.
Karmis bogeyed the 10th, which saw him drop into a share of the lead with Kruger who had climbed the leaderboard with three birdies on the front nine. But he finished his round with three further birdies and just one bogey and was certain of victory after Kruger's challenge faded with costly bogeys on the 13th and 14th. "The first thing that comes into my mind is all the privileges that come from winning on the Asian Tour," said Karmis.
"The rest of my year is pretty much sorted out for this year and the next. It has suddenly changed from wondering if I could get into tournaments to getting into all the tournaments. I actually hit good iron shots on the front nine but they just went long and I missed a couple of short putts. I was hitting the ball well but I missed the greens by a fraction and had tricky chips." * Agencies