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Tiger Woods will not play in the Ryder Cup

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Tiger Woods was a longshot to make the United States Ryder Cup, but removed any doubt by withdrawing from consideration.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time since 2008, Tiger Woods will not participate in the Ryder Cup. Woods would have had to be a captain's pick if he was going to make the United States team, but eliminated that possibility by removing himself from consideration. On his website, Woods said he was advised to take time off to allow his back muscles to rehabilitate and heal.

The decision is not necessarily a surprise. Woods struggled to gain his top form after returning from back surgery and has recently struggled to even make it through tournaments. He was forced to withdraw from the Bridgestone Invitational after tweaking his back. He had more back issues last week at the PGA Championship and played through pain in the second round before missing the cut. Woods said his recent back injury was not related to the surgery.

Although he was well short of qualifying for the United States team based on points, Woods remained in the discussion to be one of Tom Watson's captain's picks. His recent form didn't make him a very good, or even likely pick, but he is still Tiger Woods, one of the best players ever. Woods said he spoke to Watson and said the Ryder Cup means too much to him to not be able to play at his best.

Woods failed to qualify for the FedExCup Playoffs and with the Ryder Cup no longer an option, he will get an extended break from competitive golf. Woods said he will return to competition at the World Challenge in early December, an event his foundation hosts. The time off will give him an opportunity to rest his back following speculation that he returned to the course prematurely.

The United States team will compete in the Ryder Cup without Woods for just the second time since Woods made his Ryder Cup debut in 1997. He missed the 2008 Ryder cup due to knee surgery.