Ryder Cup Logo Ryder Cup: Team USASeptember 22-24 2006, The K Club, Straffan, County Kildare, Ireland
Story Image Tiger Woods is practicing today at the K Club with his teammates after rearranging his schedule. (Photo: Getty Images)

Business Trip

The U.S. Ryder Cup team's two-day visit to the K Club might send a message to the Europeans, but Tiger Woods says its main purpose is to help the players learn about each other as much as they learn about the Ryder Cup venue.

August 28, 2006

STRAFFAN, Ireland (PA) -- Tiger Woods insists that the U.S. Ryder Cup team's visit to the K Club on Monday and Tuesday wasn't designed specifically to let the Europeans know they mean business.

"Whether it sends a strong message or not, our whole deal is to come together, gain experience, gain some knowledge on the golf course and be ready to play come time for the cup," said Woods, who won his fourth tournament in a row on Sunday at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

"As we all know, it's not about sending messages," he explained. "It's all about making putts and executing [shots] and making 2s, 3s and 4, nothing higher."

The world No. 1 was not originally going to make the trip because of a clash with a charity event in Boston ahead of this week's Deutsche Bank Championship. But he re-arranged his schedule.

"It was important for all of us to get together and be together and to jell as a team," he said. "Some of the guys have never played there. I've played there more than anybody else on the team, so hopefully I can help out some of the guys."

The Ryder Cup is now only three weeks away, and the specially chartered jet enabled Tom Lehman's side to view the Dublin course in tournament shape in relative peace and quiet.

With four rookies on the team, the depth of Lehman's line-up is the subject of much debate. But Woods is doing all he can to knock holes in Europe's star. In his past four tournaments, he has gone head-to-head with Sergio Garcia, Luke Donald, Paul McGinley and Paul Casey -- all but McGinley in the final round -- and won each time.

Not one of the quartet managed to even break par while playing with Woods.

His Ryder Cup record contains a mere seven wins in 20 matches and he admits he doesn't like aspects of the week. But he likes winning more -- and he is approaching this year's match in one of the hottest streaks of his career.

His professional career reached 10 full years on Sunday, and has brought him 70 individual titles around the world. Now he wants a team one again.

Copyright 2006 PA Sport. All rights reserved.

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