Tiger Woods skipping Players Championship, Masters likely next start
We now know where Tiger Woods won’t be teeing it up next. To the surprise of very few, the PGA Tour announced the field for next week’s Players Championship, the Tour’s flagship event, and Woods’ name was not listed.
The 15-time major winner made his regular PGA Tour return for the first time since 2020 two weeks ago at the Genesis Invitational, which he also hosts.
After Woods impressed by making the cut and finishing under par for the event, the first time he’d done so in four starts since returning from a 2021 car crash where he sustained serious injuries to his right leg, he didn’t sound bullish on playing again before the Masters in April.
He didn’t directly answer a question about where he’d play next after the final round of the Genesis.
“Like I told you guys last year, I’m not going to play any more than probably the majors and maybe a couple more,” Woods said. “That’s it, that’s all my body will allow me to do. My back the way it is, all the surgeries I had on my back, my leg the way it is, I just can’t. That’s just going to be my future.”
Woods played in three of the four majors in 2022, playing all four rounds at the Masters, making the cut and then withdrawing after the third round of the PGA and then missing the cut at St. Andrews during the Open Championship. He said he’d like to play all four majors this year, and “maybe sprinkle in a few here and there.”
It’s reasonable to assume the Genesis was one of the “few here and there” given how it benefits his foundation and is one of the PGA Tour’s designated events. The Players is the PGA Tour’s marquee tournament and carries the largest purse of any PGA Tour event at $25 million, but Woods alluded at Riviera that the Genesis might be his only start before the year’s first major.
“It’s just a buildup, and it’s built up fantastic to get to this point,” he said in his pre-tournament press conference. “Then after this event we’ll analyze it and see what we need to do to get ready for Augusta.”
The Masters, April 6-9, is just four weeks after the Players.