And then Woods won for the first time in more than five years.
The eyes of the world will descend on Le Golf National, France on Friday when the 42nd edition of the match will begin.
Tommy Fleetwood heads into his first Ryder Cup inspired by a message of support from one of soccer's most respected coaches.
The European Tour, maybe hoping to drive out as many European fans as possible after losing to the United States two years ago, has built a very big grandstand on the first tee that will sit up to 6,900 patrons when the tournament kicks off.
"The Spaniard is known as a fiery and exuberant figure on the course and said: "[With] the history of the Ryder Cup, I think I will be paired with an experienced player.
This time Europe have opted to start the day with the fourball format where each man plays his own ball and the lowest scoring player on each side counts in the matchplay competition. At the beginning of a game, the match is all square (in other words a draw).
So how many points are needed to win the Ryder Cup?
It was a win which reverberated around the sporting world given that Woods himself had reportedly told Jack Nicklaus "I'm done" in April 2017, before undergoing spinal fusion surgery in a last-ditch bid to save his career.
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RORY MCILROY WILL adopt a calmer tone for this week's Ryder Cup than his emotional high-energy style from 2016, the four-time major victor saying today that he wants no repeat of an energy fade. "The level sort of declined after that, sort of reached its crescendo on the eighth green and the last 10 holes wasn't quite as good", McIlroy said.
European captain Thomas Bjorn said the killing "hit everybody in the golf family, and obviously our two Spanish players very much". The best score at the hole wins the hole.
But the former world number one admits he took great delight in getting the better of those same players, as well as key European rivals Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose, in Sunday's final round at East Lake.
These are not "mops" on the European team, the word Thomas Bjorn used to describe two of his captain's picks. It is a one on one situation. The Danish golfer has won 21 professional events in his career and came runner up in the Open Championship in 2000 and 2003.
"But my overall Ryder Cup record, not having won as a player since 1999 is something that hopefully we can change".
Now 42 and an experienced head in the U.S. team, Woods is expecting to sample something similar to the notably vocal support Europe received at Celtic Manor in 2010. We haven't won as a usa squad here in 25 years on foreign soil.
Mickelson and Woods, who are set for a big-money TV duel at Thanksgiving, played together in an ill-fated partnership on the opening day of the 2004 Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills. This time, however, the players have to switch off hitting the same ball until it rolls in the cup. "The golf course, the stands, the fans, all the buildup, being in this great city - that just adds on for it to be a really, really special occasion".
Tension will start from the first tee with huge, vocal crowds singing and chanting in one of golf's toughest situations.
"It's great when a team gets together for one same goal, one same objective, and it gets accomplished. You can be friends week-in, week-out and be good friends week-in, week out, but when it comes to the Ryder Cup, there's something extra special there, and it means so much to want to win and have to win".