Tiger Woods may well have been given some extra motivation to shine at this week’s Ryder Cup – by European captain Colin Montgomerie.
As Woods linked up with the rest of the American side for their overnight flight from Atlanta to Cardiff, Montgomerie named Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker as the two opposing players he would most like to have on his side.
But the world number one might care to point out that while his own cup record is not great, it is still better than the other two.
Stricker did not win a game on his debut two years ago, while Furyk has won only eight of 24 games compared to Woods’ 10 from 25.
They were partners at The K Club four years ago – the last appearance for Woods - while Stricker and Woods won all their four games together at the Presidents Cup last year and are expected to at least start this week in harness again.
Montgomerie, though, was right in saying that the game’s biggest star is an unknown quantity going into the Celtic Manor match.
Following his sex scandal he has not had a top-three finish all year, he needed a wild card for Celtic Manor and did not qualify for this week’s Tour Championship.
“Tiger has not been himself on or off the course and it’s just a matter of seeing what he does,” Montgomerie said on BBC Radio Five Live.
“What I would say is that I’m delighted to host Tiger here in Wales. I think it’s great that he’s playing, it’s the first time he’s played as professional in Wales.
“The first name that my players look for on the drawsheet is Tiger Woods and we look forward to seeing how he gets on.”