Woods open to Ryder Cup talks with Watson

World No.


1 Tiger Woods will welcome any move to sit down with USA Ryder Cup captain, Tom Watson and “clear the air” before next year’s Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, Scotland.

Watson was extremely critical of Woods in the months following revelations in late 2009 of Woods’ many extra-marital affairs.

And at the recent One Year to Go celebrations in Scotland ahead of the 2014 Ryder Cup, Watson said he had not talked with Woods privately and would “have to sit down and have a conversation with him”.

Woods was questioned on the subject on Wednesday as guest of honour at a packed press conference ahead of Thursday’s start of the $US7.0 million ($A7.4 million) Turkish Airlines Open.

The event is the third in the European Tour’s Final Series and with Woods being the only non-European Tour member competing.

“No, we haven’t spoken yet but I am sure as we have another year plus or about a year ahead of us, so there will be a lot of time between now and then to talk,” Woods said.

Woods also defended his decision not to contest last week’s $US8.5 million WGC-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai.

The 14-time winner instead spent the week after his Match at Mission Hills against Rory McIlroy attending to corporate engagements as well as hosting junior clinics in Macau and Singapore.

Giles Morgan, Head of Global Sponsorship with banking giant, HSBC last week indicated that Woods’ absence at Sheshan Golf Club is “something, from the tour’s point of view, that needs to be looked at”.

The prolific WGC-winning Woods had a simple response saying: “I am an independent contractor.”

Woods is competing in Turkey for a second year running after being a member of the elite number of golfers who participated in last year’s Turkish Airlines Invitational and an event where most players, with Woods an exception, wore shorts.

“We had a fantastic time last year but then it was a different format as we played match-play, and it was an occasion where a couple of the guys wore shorts and worked on their tans,” he said.

“However, this week has now turned into one of the biggest events on the European circuit so I am excited to be here and excited to go out and take a look at the golf course today.”

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