American players lift the lid on Tiger Woods gesture at Ryder Cup

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·Sports Reporter
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Tiger Woods messaged each member of America's team for the Ryder Cup to offer his encouragement.
Tiger Woods sent a group text message to encourage America's Ryder Cup team as he continues his recovery from a car accident in February. (Photo by Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

American golfing legend Tiger Woods reportedly sent a group text message to the nation's Ryder Cup team for encouragement, as the 45-year-old continues his recovery from a car accident earlier this year.

Woods has been recovering from serious leg injuries after crashing his car down an embankment back in February.

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He has made few public appearances, with the Ryder Cup squad hoping to recruit Woods into a coaching role leading up to the tournament.

That offer was ultimately declined, however Woods is clearly still invested in the performance of his compatriots at the prestigious event.

After first contacting team captain Steve Stricker, Woods was able to send all 12 members of the American team a message of encouragement ahead of the start of play.

"The gist of basically what he said was I'm cheering you guys on, I'm right there with you and go fight and make us proud," Tony Finau said.

"We were able to do that and if TW's watching, thanks for that text, brother, I think it helps us a lot."

The message was clearly a welcome boost, with Team USA finishing with a 6-2 record after the first day of play.

Many of the other American players discussed the message after their opening rounds.

"Tiger's not with us in person but I know he's watching and talking to Stricker a lot," Harris English said. "We know he's got our backs, so that's really cool and we kind of used that energy today."

Xander Schauffele said the players were excited to hear Woods was cheering hard for them from his home in Florida.

"We knew he was fist pumping from the couch," Schauffele said. "Whether he was on crutches or not he's as fired up as any back at home. So it's nice to have his support."

Tiger Woods' message of support for American Ryder Cup team

Stricker said he got the text on Thursday and sent it out to the team on Friday. He said Woods wished players good luck and shared a few personal observations.

"He's a friend of a lot of these guys and these guys look up to him and I lean on him a lot throughout this whole process," Stricker said.

"So it was great to hear from him and provide some words of encouragement to these guys."

Woods was an assistant captain in 2016, when the US last won the cup.

He returned as a player in 2018, but did not win a point in his matches.

Tiger Woods suffered serious leg injuries in a car accident earlier in 2021. (Photo by Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)
Tiger Woods suffered serious leg injuries in a car accident earlier in 2021. (Photo by Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

In eight Ryder Cups, Woods earned 14.5 points but had an overall losing record and only played on one winning team - the 1999 team that won in a huge final day comeback at Brookline.

Prior to the tournament kicking off, Stricker had discussed the team's efforts to convince Woods to join as an assistant coach, an offer which was ultimately declined.

"He's very passionate about (the Ryder Cup). He's a great guy to talk to. He's a great guy to lean on. We've had a number of talks," Stricker told Sirius XM radio.

"He's a part of this Ryder Cup family; he won't be able to be a captain's assistant this time around just because of his ongoing rehabilitation to try to get better and try to play golf again, and that is going well.

"He's progressing, he's doing well, things are moving in the right direction."

With AAP

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