28 Sep 2010

Europe captain says Woods had to be at Ryder Cup

11:34 am on 28 September 2010

The world's number one golfer Tiger Woods and the rest of the United States team have arrived in Wales for the Ryder Cup against Europe which starts at Celtic Manor on Friday.

Woods' troubled private life lead to a drastic drop in form over the past year and he had to rely on a wildcard selection for his place in the team.

However Europe's captain Colin Montgomerie says the event wouldn't have been the same without Woods.

The United States are the defending champions of the bi-ennial event but given they've not won on foreign soil since 1993, Europe start as the marginal favourites.

Even before they'd been reunited with their baggage captain Corey Pavin was fielding his first questions about Woods.

Jim Furyk was alongside the world number one, an astonishing $11.35 million richer after winning the Tour Championship on Monday to seal the Fedex Cup series, but it was Woods everyone wanted to talk about after his traumatic personal problems and a poor run of form.

Interest in Woods' prospects ahead of his first tournament in Wales was cranked up further at the weekend when the European captain Colin Montgomerie said Woods would not be his first choice if he could have any American in his team.

He's played in all five matches at each of his five Ryder Cups but there has been speculation that he might not do so this time.

The three-day match starts on Saturday.