Tiger Woods plea to ‘step on their necks’ inspired record US win at Ryder Cup

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Tiger Woods - Tiger Woods plea to ‘step on their necks’ inspired record US win at Ryder Cup - REUTERS
Tiger Woods - Tiger Woods plea to ‘step on their necks’ inspired record US win at Ryder Cup - REUTERS

A graphic message from Tiger Woods to the US team helped inspire their record-breaking Ryder Cup win, with the 15-time major winner sending a message prior to the final day to "step on their necks".

Woods was not at Whistling Straits because he is still recovering from catastrophic leg injuries suffered in a February car crash. But US captain Steve Stricker enlisted him as unofficial vice-captain and it is understood he was in regular touch with the teamroom.

However, it was his contribution on Saturday night that had the biggest effect. Woods commanded the players to show no mercy with sources saying he texted the US team to "step on their necks".

At 11-5 going into the 12 Sunday singles the US team had all but already won, but Woods told them to target a record win in the modern era and so break the 18.5-9.5 mark set by the US in 1981 and Europe in 2004 and 2006.

“We were told by a member of the team today that the record was 19 points and that we should go out and try to get 19 points,” Jordan Spith said. “And that's what we did.”

Woods responded to the success with his own public congratulatory message, posting on Twitter: "A dominant performance by @RyderCupUSA! I can’t wait to see and celebrate with all of you! Congrats to all the players, Vice Captains and of course Captain @stevestricker."


The 45-year-old is being mentioned as a possible successor to Stricker, after the Wisconsinite ruled out him staying on for the 44th Ryder Cup in Rome in two years’ time. Zach Johnson, the two-time major champion, seems to be the favoured option at the moment, but there is a growing sense that Italy could be the perfect fit for Woods.

By the time of that match, America will not have won away for 30 years and victory would at least give Woods a positive Ryder Cup legacy. Spieth certainly believes that the young US side are up to the task. “It’s one thing to win it over here – it is harder to win over there,” Spieth said.

“If we play like we did this week, the score will look the same over there in a couple years, and that’s what we’re here for. This is unfinished business. I’ve lost twice over there.”

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