He wasn't on-site at Whistling Straits but Tiger still found a way to make his presence felt

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He couldn’t be there in body, but Tiger Woods certainly did his best to be at the Ryder Cup in mind. As an individual golfer, few have been more ruthless than Woods was in his heyday, and there was yet more evidence of this on display at Whistling Straits. 

The 15-time major champion was slated to be one of Steve Stricker’s vice-captains as the US side welcomed Team Europe to Wisconsin with a point to prove after a period of prolonged misery in the biennial contest. 

However, such was his physical condition after injuries sustained in a horrific car crash in February that he was limited to messages and/or video calls to Stricker and his 12 charges.

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And according to a report in the Telegraph, one such message was relayed to the home players ahead of the final-day singles.

“Step on their necks,” Tiger sent. The response he got was emphatic.

At 11-5 up – a record margin to take into the singles – it could’ve been easy to become complacent, thinking the cup was as good as won. But the Americans did what all great teams do, and went out on a mission to increase their advantage. 

The Europeans needed nine points from the 12 on offer on Sunday to retain the cup they won with ease in Paris in 2018. In the end, they got four. 

What had been a six-point lead became a record-breaking 19-9 demolition, the kind of drubbing Woods himself was famous for dishing out.

At the closing press conference, Stricker paid tribute to Tiger’s contribution, calling him “a big part of this team.”

And it didn’t take long for Woods to respond via Twitter, no doubt after being delighted to witness his countrymen “step on their necks.” 

The next big test for the Americans will be to produce the goods away from home. Roll on Rome!