(Reuters) - Tiger Woods has cleared the air with Patrick Reed in the wake of controversial comments the U.S. Masters champion made following the American team’s Ryder Cup loss in September, the 14-times major winner said on Thursday.
Speaking after the first round at the Hero World Challenge, an event he hosts in the Bahamas, Woods addressed an issue that could affect the harmony on the U.S. team he will captain at next year’s Presidents Cup in Australia.
Woods would not divulge exact details of his conversation with Reed, who rocked the Ryder Cup team boat when he publicly complained that his historically successful pairing with Jordan Spieth had been disbanded in the Paris defeat.
Reed told the New York Times that he had been “blindsided” when captain Jim Furyk opted against pairing him with Spieth, the 28-year-old instead playing and losing twice with Woods as a fractious U.S. team was well beaten by Europe.
“We spoke after the Ryder Cup for a long period of time and, you know, we talked amongst us and it will stay between us,” Woods said of his conversation with Reed, who is co-leader in the Bahamas after firing a seven-under 65.
Woods and Reed could yet team up at the Presidents Cup, with the former hoping to compete as a playing captain, saying he would take part if he qualified automatically and left open the option of selecting himself if he did not.
“Now, if I don’t make it on points, then it’s up to myself, my vice-captains and the rest of the players who are already on the team, who is the best suited to play,” he said.
“If we find, if we think that it’s someone else, then I don’t play. It will be a team decision on who are the next four
Woods also implied that he was not happy with the date of next year’s World Challenge, currently scheduled the week before the Dec. 12-15 Presidents Cup, which will be played nearly 16,000 km away at Royal Melbourne.
Anyone playing the World Challenge will not get to Australia until Tuesday, only 48 hours before the start of the Presidents Cup, which pits the U.S. against an International team of players from the rest of the world, excluding Europe.
“We just know that we’re the week prior to the Presidents Cup,” Woods said after a disappointing one-over 73 left him tied for 16th in the 18-player event. “Still working it out.”
As for the state of his body, Woods confirmed he was dealing with sore ankles, but remained vague on the nature of his issues without suggesting they were related to his April 2017 spinal fusion.
“I’ve struggled with my ankles over the last few months,” said the soon-to-be 43-year-old. “Still the same issues. They’ve just been sore for months, just wear and tear.”
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by John O'Brien