The 2021 Ryder Cup is underway, and Team USA got off to a strong start with a 3-1 win in the Friday morning Foursomes session. And while Tiger Woods is not with the team due to the leg injury he suffered during a car accident in February, his presence was definitely felt. Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay spoke to the Golf Channel after the Friday morning match and said that Woods sent every member of Team USA a message.
"We're all square, keep pushing," Schauffele said of the early lead," per Golfweek. "We got a nice message from Tiger last night, obviously we're not gonna reveal what it said, but Pat and I knew we referred to it a few times today and we knew what we needed to do. We knew he was fist-pumping from the couch. 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."
Cantlay added: "No better role model, no better leader, just somebody that you can always learn from. "I saw him last week at home and just picked his brain on Ryder Cup and applied some of that here today." Earlier this month, Steve Stricker confirmed that Woods wasn't going to be part of the Ryder Cup team. However, Stricker gave a big health update on the golf superstar.
"I've talked to Tiger a lot," Stricker said in the interview at Whistling Straits with former PGA Tour players Carl Paulson and Dennis Paulson. "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."
Woods' car accident happened outside Los Angeles on Feb. 23. it was reported that Woods was speeded when he crossed the wrong side of the road before hitting a tree. No charges were pressed against Woods as it was ruled an accident. "This has been an entirely different animal," Woods said to Golf Digest in May. "I understand more of the rehab processes because of my past injuries, but this was more painful than anything I have ever experienced."