Ryder Cup Logo Ryder Cup: Team USASeptember 22-24 2006, The K Club, Straffan, County Kildare, Ireland
Story Image Caddie Steve Williams found out that Tiger Woods' 9-iron couldn't swim. (Photo: Getty Images)

Despite his best Ryder point total, Woods isn't satisfied

In a bit of consolation, Tiger Woods earned three points at the K Club, the most he's ever tallied in a Ryder Cup. And though disappointed at the result, even he had to smile at the bizarre incident when his 9-iron fell into a lake.

By T.J. Auclair, Junior Editor
September 24, 2006

STRAFFAN, Ireland -- The United States Ryder Cup team equaled its worst losing margin -- 18 1/2 to 9 1/2 -- in the history of the biennial matches and for the second time in as many events here at the K Club Sunday.

But in a bit of consolation, perhaps smaller than European Captain Ian Woosnam's stature, Tiger Woods turned in his best individual performance in five career matches.

Woods earned three points out of a possible five this week, which was a half-point better than his previous-best Ryder Cup, when he notched 2 1/2 points in a losing effort at the Belfry in 2002.

While Woods' point total was arguably the only encouraging thing the Americans will take out of this Ryder Cup, it didn't mean a whole lot to Woods since the team has come out on top just once since he's been a member. Even that one wasn't easy, as it required the largest final-day come back in tournament history when the U.S. miraculously grabbed 8 ? points in the singles session in 1999 at the Country Club in Brookline.

"I'm not real happy," Woods said. "I'm 1-4 in Ryder Cups and it doesn't sit well, nor should it. We went out there, played, and they just outplayed us. They made more putts than we did. When it comes right down to it, in all of these Cups that I've been a part of, it's whoever plays 18 the best and whoever makes the most putts for the week. If you look at the way the matches went for the entire week, the Europeans did better on both of those occasions."

In defeating Robert Karlsson of Sweden, 3 & 2, on Sunday, Woods may have won his match -- but for a while he lost his 9-iron.

In one of the strangest moments you'll ever see in golf, Woods was lining up a putt at the seventh hole near the edge of the green, close to the body of water that guards the front and right of the green.

His caddie, Steve Williams, was cleaning Woods' golf ball with the 9-iron in hand from the previous shot, then lost his balance, tripped and dropped the club into the water. Because of the depth of the water, Williams was unable to reach in and grab the club, which meant his boss was forced to use 13 clubs until a diver in a dry suit returned the 9-iron to him on the 15th hole.

"Well, that was interesting," said Woods, who could be seen cracking a smile when the incident occurred. "I hit 9-iron my second shot into seven and we went up to the green, my ball spun off to the right side of the green, just off the green.

"I handed my ball to Stevie to have it cleaned and he was going to rinse the 9-iron in the water, and he did. He went to take a step on the rock to reach in there and rinse it off, and he slipped on the rock, and it was either going to be him or the 9-iron. He chose the 9-iron."

Woods had a sarcastic theory as to why it took eight holes to get the club back.

"I figure it must have been a European who was diving for the club," he joked.

Woods said there was one instance where he would have liked to have had the 9-iron. At the 11th hole, he said the yardage was 127, "a perfect number" for the 9-iron. Instead, he hit a "tiny little 8-iron," and made birdie.

It worked out OK.

Copyright 2006 PGA.com. All rights reserved.

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