Tiger Woods Reveals Why He Declined US Ryder Cup Captaincy

Woods was the overwhelming favorite to succeed Zach Johnson as the next US Ryder Cup captain and had been in extended talks with the PGA of America over the role

Tiger Woods looks on during his foursomes match on the second day of the 42nd Ryder Cup at Le Golf National Course at Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, south-west of Paris, on September 29, 2018.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tiger Woods says he declined the opportunity to become United States Ryder Cup captain due to his responsibilities and commitments with the PGA Tour.

The PGA of America announced Keegan Bradley as the new Ryder Cup captain of Team USA on Monday, following months of discussions with Woods.

Woods was the overwhelming favorite to succeed Zach Johnson as the next captain and had been in extended talks with the PGA of America – which runs the US arm of the event – over the role. 

However, the 15-time Major winner revealed that he turned down the offer due to a lack of time, but left the door open on potentially taking up the role in the future.

“With my new responsibilities to the Tour and time commitments involved, I felt I would not be able to commit the time to Team USA and the players required as a captain,” Woods said in a statement.

“That does not mean I wouldn't want to captain the team in the future. If and when I feel it is the right time, I will put my hat in the ring for this committee to decide.”

Woods is a player director on the PGA Tour Policy Board and has been a key figure in the ongoing negotiations between the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

He first spoke about his reluctance to take on the Ryder Cup captaincy ahead of the PGA Championship in May.

“I’m dedicating so much time to what we’re doing with the PGA Tour, I don’t want to not fulfil the role of the captaincy if I can’t do it," he said at the time.

“What that all entails, representing team USA and the commitments to the PGA of America, the players and the fans, I need to feel that I can give the amount of time that it deserves.”

Keegan Bradley celebrates at the Ryder Cup

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Speaking to the media after his official unveiling as US Ryder Cup captain on Tuesday, Bradley said he spoke to Woods before accepting the job.

“Before I accepted this job, I needed to talk to Tiger,” Bradley said. “I wanted to make sure and I wanted to hear from him. We had a great conversation. I certainly need his input.

“I have spoken to Tiger a bunch. I spoke to him this morning on the phone. He's been very helpful. Tiger has always been really helpful to me. He's a great voice to hear. He's been reaching out to me and helping me, which has been amazing.”

Bradley said he told Woods that he can be “as involved as he wants to be” in the lead up to next year’s Ryder Cup at Bethpage Black.

“We as players we all look up to Tiger. His opinion means a lot to us. Being in team rooms with Tiger, the public doesn't realize how important this is to him. It's everything. He lives and breathes this event.

“I think it shows you how much he cares by turning this position down because he didn't feel like he could put in what he needed to do with all of his responsibilities with what's going on with the tour.”

Joel Kulasingham
News Writer

Joel Kulasingham is freelance writer for Golf Monthly. He has worked as a sports reporter and editor in New Zealand for more than five years, covering a wide range of sports including golf, rugby and football. He moved to London in 2023 and writes for several publications in the UK and abroad. He is a life-long sports nut and has been obsessed with golf since first swinging a club at the age of 13. These days he spends most of his time watching, reading and writing about sports, and playing mediocre golf at courses around London.