Written by John Butler
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Tuesday, 19 September 2006

image for Reluctant Woods Plays Pass-The-Parcel With Ryder Team-mates
Tiger Woods pictured today straight after being asked to play pass-the-parcel with his team-mates

World number one Tiger Woods was forced to play pass-the-parcel with his team-mates as part of a US bonding exercise, despite his best efforts to avoid the game, commonly played at children's parties.

All 12 team members were instructed to take part, but Woods slipped out of the group only to return one hour later and be told he had to hunker down and form a circle with the remaining eleven members of the US team.


"Tom Lehman came up with the exercise as part of his attempts to encourage player unity behind the common goal of reclaiming the Ryder Cup".


"He kind of bailed out when when we told him we were serious but when we all got back we put him on the spot and made him play. Phil (Mickelson) actually ended up winning. He removed the last bit of wrapping. I don't think Tiger liked that too much - we all know he hates to lose... especially to Phil", joked US star Scott Verplank.

"We got him a little embarrassed - which was good - and had a good laugh. At one stage, Tiger got into a big argument with Dave (David Toms) over who had been holding the parcel at the precise moment Tom (Lehman) stopped the music".

US captain Tom Lehman came up with the exercise as part of his attempts to encourage player unity behind the common goal of reclaiming the Ryder Cup.

"He wasn't very good at the game and he didn't like doing it - I wouldn't recommend he attend any children's parties any time soon" added Verplank.

Verplank then pondered, "I wonder was he like that as a kid too. I'd bet he was you know. I'd wager Tiger probably spent his tenth birthday out on the range with his Dad".


"He's buying into having 11 buddies with him for a week instead of just this 'me against the world' thing. Playing pass-the-parcel is part and parcel of this".


Recent US teams have attracted criticism for not generating enough team spirit, with Woods' surly and ill-fated pairing with world number two Phil Mickelson 2 years ago, a foremost thought in the mind of Lehman.

But Verplank insisted Woods - who is likely to be paired with one of the players he sort of tolerates - Jim Furyk - will be a key member of the team. Woods, he said would "dispense with his usual single-minded approach" in the interests of building team spirit.

"He's buying into having 11 buddies with him for a week instead of just this 'me against the world' thing. Playing pass-the-parcel is part and parcel of this".

"I think he understands that to play well in this event that's what he's got to do things he wouldn't normally do, and I think he's making some steps to do that."

Captain Tom Lehman however said he was keen also to give Woods a few hours downtime during the afternoons on practice days.

"It's always been something that he's wanted to do in the Ryder Cup, have some time where he can relax and have time to himself. Tomorrow though we have all agreed to play hide-and-seek in the K-Club club house. It's a massive building and should be a hell of a lot of fun".

Lehman then chortled, "Tiger's reluctantly said he would be the first seeker. I hope he has fun. Try to pretend you're seeking your 19th major victory I might tell him"

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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