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Tiger Woods calls Olympia Fields ‘great ramp-up' for U.S. Open

Tiger Woods 2020 BMW Championship
Tiger Woods, who ends his season Sunday at the BMW Championship with a 1-over 71 at the BMW Championship, will take off for 2 weeks before the U.S. Open.

Woods fails to advance to Tour Championship but likes his momentum after season-ending 71 at BMW Championship

Tiger Woods ended his season Sunday on the PGA Tour with a 1-over 71 at Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club’s brutal North Course, falling short of qualifying for the Tour Championship.

He needed to finish T-3 or better to make the top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings and advance to Atlanta’s East Lake Golf Club this week. So, what’s next for Woods? The U.S. Open in three weeks at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y.

“I didn't play as well as I wanted to the first couple days,” Woods said Sunday from suburban Chicago, where his 11-over total placed him tied for 51st in the 69-man field (scores). “Today was nice. I hit the ball really well and made only a couple putts, but today was more indicative of how I want to play in a couple weeks.

“This golf course was basically a U.S. Open, with the rough being as high as it is and fairways a little bit narrow. Look at the scores, and I don't think that we've seen scores like this in a non-major in a very long time. This was a great ramp-up for me for the U.S. Open. I wish I was playing next week, but I've got a couple weeks off.”

For Woods, the 2019-20 season began with so much promise when he won the Zozo Championship on Oct. 27 in Japan to tie Sam Snead for the PGA Tour’s all-time victory mark, at 82. As a player-captain, he led the U.S. team to a victory against the Internationals in the Presidents Cup in December. With a tie for ninth in the Farmers Insurance Open in late January to start the new year, Woods appeared to be on track for another winning year. But three weeks later, he finished last among the 68 players to make the cut at the Genesis Invitational, which benefits his foundation.

The start at Riviera near his boyhood home of Los Angeles would prove to be Woods’ last one for a while as the global coronavirus pandemic shut down the PGA Tour from early March until early June. Upon returning to competition in July, he finished no better than T-37, at the PGA Championship, in four starts.

Woods, 44, is a three-time U.S. Open champion, having won in 2000, 2002 and 2008. At No. 17 in the Official World Golf Ranking entering last week, he will be among the players to watch at the Open in suburban New York. In the most recent U.S. Open at Winged Foot, which Geoff Ogilvy won in 2006, Woods missed the cut in his first major championship since his father, Earl, died.

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