Will we see Woods before his title defense at Masters in 4 weeks?
Woods will not compete in this week’s Players Championship, the third of four consecutive stops in Florida and the Tour’s flagship event. Woods is a two-time winner of the Players. His agent, Mark Steinberg, told media outlets after Woods missed Friday’s deadline to register that Woods does not feel healthy enough to compete. Woods has one fewer chance to prepare for next month’s Masters, in which he will be the defending champion.
Woods has not competed on Tour since he finished 68th – last among the players who made the 36-hole cut – in the Genesis Invitational four weeks ago. He served as host for the tournament, which benefits his TGR Foundation.
Woods, 44, remains tied with Sam Snead for the PGA Tour’s all-time victory mark, at 82. His comeback from back surgery and self-inflicted off-course troubles was completed last April when he won his fifth green jacket. That triumph preceded his record-tying 82nd Tour title, at the inaugural Zozo Championship in Japan in October.
Woods made 15 official starts in 2019, plus his unofficial Hero World Challenge, which also benefits his foundation. In recent weeks, he has skipped the Honda Classic, which is played near his home in Jupiter, Fla., and the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which he has won eight times, at Bay Hill in Orlando. Next week’s Valspar Championship at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor will be his last chance to compete in his adopted home state before the Tour heads to Texas for the WGC Match Play in Austin, two weeks before the Masters.
Tiger Woods had a very different preparation for last year’s Masters. In a five-week span, he finished T-15 in the Genesis Invitational near his boyhood home in Los Angeles, T-10 at the WGC Mexico and then T-30 at the Players. Two weeks later, he competed in the WGC Match Play, losing with an 18th-hole bogey to Lucas Bjerregaard. That schedule equalled four tournaments in seven weeks before he took the week off ahead of the Masters, which would he claimed for his first major title in 11 years.
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