Tiger Woods Looking At Three Straight Weeks In The Playoffs?
Preserve what’s left of the body.
That has become the prime directive for Eldrick Tont Woods.
He’s played in only 10 events in 2019 — four of them were major championships.
He’s played back-to-back weeks just once. That was back in February when he played in his own event (The Genesis) on Feb. 17 then teed it up the following week at the WGC Mexico. Went T15 and T10, for the record.
Tiger played just one time in January. Twice in February. Twice in March. Once in April (The Masters win) and once in May (PGA). After that he played the Memorial and the U.S. Open in June then the Open Championship in July.
What we haven’t seen is a whole heckuva lot of Tiger Woods this season.
Remember — preserve the body.
That win at The Masters was naturally, the highlight. Take that away and it hasn’t been much of a year outside that — two other top 10s (T5 at the match play and T9 at The Memorial).
Last time we saw Tiger he was laboring in the wind and rain at Royal Portrush. The conditions at the Open Championship simply weren’t freindly to his 43-year-old body.
Tiger’s departing words in Northern Ireland last month:
“I wanna go home.”
And that’s where El Tigre has been the past few weeks, up there at his Fortress Of Solitude on Jupiter Island.
Practicing? Who knows. Hopefully, yes.
He’s on the tee next week at Liberty National in Jersey City, a course he’s familiar with. He finished second there in 2009 and 2013.
He’s currently 27th on the FedEx points list with 1,003 points.
Here’s what it looks like it front of him:
23: Ryan Palmer (1,088).
24: Francesco Molinari (1054).
25: Sungjae Im (1,016).
26: Scott Piercy (1,006).
Right now Im is playing well at The Wyndham. Look for him to move up.
You’d think Tiger could handle the rest of those guys at Liberty National.
Here’s what it looks like behind him:
28: Sung Kang (986).
29: Hideki Matsuyama (969).
30: Lucas Glover (944).
31: Corey Conners (928).
Tiger should be able to out-play those guys any day of the week.
Which begs the question: Suppose Tiger plays really, really well at Liberty National and say, gets himself a top five?
Would he “un-commit” from the BMW and get a week’s rest for the Tour Championship?
Doesn’t seem that far fetched considering three weeks straight is uncharted territory for the fragile superstructure that is known as Tiger’s body.
Then there’s the other end of the spectrum.
Suppose Tiger were to miss the cut at The Northern Trust? Good news is that he’d have some rest before the BMW.
Here’s where it gets interesting. The BMW is at Medinah, the site of two major championship victories for Tiger — the 1999 PGA and the 2006 PGA.
He’s got past history but 2006 is 13 years in the rearview mirror.
You know Tiger wants to be back at East Lake. The place went into total chaos last year when he returned to he winner’s circle with No. 80.
Of course the tour wants him there and the good folks at Coca-Cola are saying novenas for a Tiger Woods return.
But then we’d be looking at three straight weeks of Tiger.
That’s nearly 30 percent of his actual tournament time this past season.
Can he make it?
How will his body react?
In this new physical reality for golf’s 15-time major champion, those may be questions that not even he can answer.