Tiger Woods will not enter the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass

Tiger Woods, the 15-time major champion and two-time winner of the Players Championship, won’t be teeing it up at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Woods wasn’t on the field list released Friday by the PGA Tour.

 

Woods’ last tournament action was at the Genesis Invitational in February, an event that he hosts. Woods withdrew from the tournament due to illness during his second round.  Woods was carted off by a rules official and taken to the clubhouse after hitting a drive into the fairway on the seventh hole of his second round. Rob McNamara, Woods’ longtime business partner, said Woods potentially had some type of flu and was dehydrated.

 

Woods shot a 1-over par during his opening round at Riviera Country Club, but that included what he called multiple back spasms. He said he had an approach shot on the 18th hole which forced a severe shank into the trees on the right side.

 

Before playing the Genesis Invitational, Woods competed in the Hero World Challenge and PNC Championship in late November-December 2023. His participation in the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas was his first tournament since withdrawing from the Masters in April 2023, citing plantar fasciitis.

 

During a news conference ahead of the Hero World Challenge, Woods said that he hoped to play one tournament a month during the 2024 season. The Players Championship field without Woods indicates that the next time he will tee it up is likely the Masters in April at Augusta National, the first major of the year.

 

Woods won the Players Championship in 2001 and 2013. At the 2001 event, Woods sank a miracle 60-foot birdie putt on the esteemed par-3 17th island hole during the third round. The putt, which underwent multiple breaks before landing in the cup, lives on as one of Woods’ most iconic shots. It’s also remembered for broadcaster Gary Koch’s famous “better than most” call. Woods is the only golfer to win the Masters and the Players in the same calendar year.

 

The Players Championship runs from March 14 to 17. World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler is looking to defend his title.

 

 

Yes, this is disappointing, but in reality it’s only disappointing because we all ran so heavily with his comments that he hopes to play once a month. At the end of the day, maybe he really meant playing the Genesis every February and playing the majors each month from April to July. It would be the first year since 2019 that he’s done that, so one shouldn’t be too disappointed. The problem is it comes weeks after he had to withdraw from the second round of the Genesis with the flu, meaning most people (who weren’t plugged in to watch the Hero World Challenge in November!) haven’t seen him play an entire tournament since February 2023.

 

If his overall health hasn’t changed and he’s just choosing not to play, then yeah it makes sense for Woods to simply focus on the majors. And there’s no way to know right now if there was another injury. He’s a 48-year-old veteran with more surgeries than finished tournaments the last few years. This is the norm. And Woods will just pick his spots while we wait. — Brody Miller, golf writer

 

 

Gideon Canice

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