Ryder Cup implications from Tiger's injury?

The shocking news after a stunning Monday victory at the U.S. Open that Tiger Woods would undergo surgery to repair his knee, thus ending his 2008 campaign, certainly sent the golf world into a state of chaos. Commentators as diverse as Jay Leno questioned the PGA Tour's ability to stay afloat with its most memorable champion out of the game.

Tim Finchem explained to the press that the game of golf would go on. The R&A, which exercises control over the world's most prestigious major championship, declared that the Open Championship had succeeded without strong performances by Tiger before, and would produce a strong competition in his absence.

Another lingering question was America's hopes to turn the tides in the bi-annual Ryder Cup. At least, this 2008 edition appeared to give America some chance to oust the Europeans: a strong Tiger Woods, some talented young players at the top of their games, and home-field advantage at Valhalla in Kentucky.

While it seems relatively intuitive that Tiger's absence will negatively affect the American team, Open champion Nick Faldo (pictured right) had a different thought. He explained, “But on the other, they know that they don’t have the option to bank on Tiger this year, and I’m sure they’ll all pull together because of that.” Indeed, Faldo has expressed his concern that the Americans may actually rally behind their loss and finally see strong play across the entire team.

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