Tiger Woods sleepwalked his way through another disappointing Ryder Cup as the American suffered a fourth consecutive loss at Le Golf National when he was beaten 2&1 by Jon Rahm in singles on Sunday. After ending a five-year victory drought by winning the Tour Championship in Atlanta, Woods looked mentally drained all week in Paris.
Even in singles, the one Ryder Cup format where he had a good record, Woods could not rise to the occasion, losing for the first time since his debut against Costantino Rocca in 1997.
Woods now has 13-21-3 (wins-losses-halves) career Ryder Cup record, a puzzling statistic by arguably the greatest player of all-time, his 14 major titles second only to the 18 won by Jack Nicklaus. Woods arrived in Paris on a high from the Tour Championship, but the expenditure of adrenaline from that victory, as well as jet lag, no doubt contributed to his mediocre play. Coming up against opponents who played well did not help either.
On Saturday, Woods twice had the misfortune to encounter his recent nemesis, British Open champion Francesco Molinari, who teamed up with Tommy Fleetwood to go 4-0-0 in the team format.
It was Molinari who withstood Woods’ charge at the British Open in July, staying calm amid frenzied scenes playing with the American, who electrified Carnoustie as he stormed into the lead halfway through the final round. Woods on Sunday also ran into a spirited Rahm, who birdied the first hole and never looked back. “The incredible pride I feel, to beat Tiger Woods, I grew up watching that guy,” said 23-year-old Rahm. “To play the golf I did, barely missed any shots, and to clinch it the way I did, a lot of emotions.”