Rory McIlroy admits Tiger Woods’ Tour Championship victory has given an added spark to the USA Ryder Cup team but insists Europe are focused on all 12 of the opposition players (Woods 7/1 – Top American).
Woods rolled back the years to put on a clinical display in winning the PGA Tour’s finale on Sunday – his first tournament success since 2013.
It was obvious just what it meant to both the player and US fans as his East Lake triumph in what was a restricted-field event was met with hysteria usually reserved for a major championship.
Having been in the doldrums for a number of years due to multiple surgeries and off-course problems, the aura that had previously surrounded the 42-year-old appears to have returned and he is sure to be a headline act at Le Golf National this week (Woods 11/8 – Top US Wildcard).
However, McIlroy has made it clear that it would be folly for Thomas Bjorn’s men to get too wound up by the fact the 14-time major winner is back.
“I don’t want to speculate how he’s going to play or how he’s going to do,” he said. “It (his win) has given their team some momentum coming here. But we’re looking to beat the USA team, not Tiger Woods This week he is one of 12.”
Woods does not have a great record in the team event and has stressed that he is looking to put that right in Paris, but Jim Furyk can boast an array of talent throughout his ranks.
He has three rookies in his dozen but they are all world class players as former world number one Justin Thomas, red-hot Bryson DeChambeau and in-form Tony Finau are the new faces (Thomas 4/5 – Top US Rookie).
Bjorn will have to manage five rookies but in Jon Rahm and Tommy Fleetwood, he has a couple of new men who will not be fazed by playing in front of a vociferous French crowd (Rahm & Fleetwood 2/1 – Top European Rookie).
Odds subject to change