Golf

Tiger Woods Makes a Gutsy Decision on His Future

Following his first tournament on the PGA Tour in five months, Tiger Woods has revealed when he’ll tee it up next. Many were hoping that he would join an elite field next week in Memphis for the next World Golf Championships event but that will not be the case as he’ll take another week off before heading to San Francisco for the PGA Championship at Harding Park. It sounds like we know where we’ll see him after that as well.

Tiger Woods finished tied for 40th in his first PGA Tour start in five months

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After five months away from the PGA Tour, Tiger Woods finally returned to action last week at the Memorial at Muirfield Village, a tournament he’d won five times before, most recently in 2013.

Tiger started the week well with a 1-under round of 71 but the back issues that are now part of his daily life crept in and he struggled to a second-round 76, making the cut on the number. He played much better in Round 3 with another 71 but again shot 76 on Sunday, a round that actually could have been worse had it not been for a couple of late birdies. Woods finished at 6-over for the week, 15 strokes behind winner Jon Rahm, tying for 40th.

His next event will be the PGA Championship

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Following his final round at the Memorial, Tiger Woods gave no clue as to when he’d tee it up next, only saying that we’d see him again “soon.” Many thought he’d want to get a few more competitive rounds in before taking his next attempt at major championship number 16 but that won’t be the case.

Tiger Woods tweeted out on Friday that he’d be skipping next week’s WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis, a tournament in which he’d be guaranteed four rounds as it’s a no-cut event, in order to continue preparing for the season’s first major, the PGA Championship, which begins August 6 at Harding Park in San Francisco.

Woods has had great success at Harding Park in the past. He won a WGC event there in 2005 in a playoff over John Daly and went 5-0 at the Presidents Cup there in 2009.

It’s a gutsy move for Tiger Woods to go into a major not having played many competitive rounds this year but he must feel that his body isn’t quite ready to play back-to-back weeks. Perhaps he’s looking to channel that energy he found last fall at the ZoZo Championship. After two lackluster showings and 10 weeks off, he went to Japan and picked up PGA Tour win number 82. So he’s got that recent experience to fall back on.

Tiger Woods hasn’t played back-to-back weeks since February 2019

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods | Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

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As Tiger Woods pointed out in his tweet, he’s continuing to prepare for the PGA Championship but is also getting ready for the upcoming FedEx Cup Playoffs, which begin 11 days following the final round at Harding Park. He’ll skip the Wyndham Championship in between but he’ll then be faced with a very tough test.

Tiger is currently sitting in 42nd place in the FedEx Cup standings and is assured a spot at the Northern Trust at TPC Boston to open the playoffs and will likely earn a spot at the BMW Championship outside Chicago the following week as the top 70 in the standings get in.

If that is the case, those two weeks would be the first time that Tiger will have teed it up in back-to-back weeks since February 2019 when he played the Genesis and the WGC-Mexico. If he plays well in both of those events and gets into the top 30, he’d face an even bigger challenge as he’d be playing three weeks in a row, something he hasn’t done since the playoffs in 2018.