Tiger Woods is practicing but getting ‘antsy,’ says PGA of America chief Seth Waugh

Here we go, folks, part II of a three-part miniseries: Being Seth Waugh in the Age of Covid.

Waugh is the CEO of the PGA of America. If you’re going to be the CEO of the PGA of America, which makes you the leader of an organization with 29,000 golf professionals as members, you better have a relationship with two in particular: the most important active American player in the game and the current American Ryder Cup captain.

That is, right now, Tiger Woods, who has won the PGA Championship four times, and Steve Stricker, captain of the 2020 U.S. Ryder Cup team, which will play in September at Whistling Straits, in Wisconsin, the state where Stricker has lived all of his 53 years.

Woods has won 15 major professional titles. Jack Nicklaus is the leader in the clubhouse in that category, with 18 majors, five of which are PGAs. This year, Woods will be looking to do what Nicklaus did in 1971, win the PGA title as the first major of the year. In ’71, the PGA Championship was played at PGA National in South Florida in late February, and not at its usual August date, in deference to the excessive summer heat. Plus, summer bugs.

Now Woods will be looking to do the same, win the PGA as the first major of the year.

If all goes well, three of the four professional majors will be played this year, and the first would be the PGA, at Harding Park, Aug. 6-9.

I asked Waugh if he has been in contact with Woods.

“We’ve texted a little bit,” he said. “He’s doing fine. He’s in his compound. Medalist is still open, so he can play there a little bit. He has a world-class practice facility on his property, so he’s there a lot. He’s hanging out with his kids. I think it’s been good timing for him, for his body. Right? This has been a little bit of a break, a chance to regenerate. But he’s getting antsy.”

So the preamble begins. Fourteen weeks until the year’s first major!

Last year, when he won the Masters, Woods said afterward that the goal was for “mind and body to come together four times a year.” He meant, of course, and in this order, the Masters, the PGA Championship, the U.S. Open and the British Open.

Waugh has a twist on that quote for this odd year, and in this order: the PGA Championship (early August), the U.S. Open (early September), the Ryder Cup (mid-September) and the Masters (mid-November).

That’d be nice, right?

Michael Bamberger welcomes your comments at Michael_Bamberger@golf.com.

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Michael Bamberger

Michael Bamberger

Golf.com Contributor

Michael Bamberger writes for GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. Before that, he spent nearly 23 years as senior writer for Sports Illustrated. After college, he worked as a newspaper reporter, first for the (Martha’s) Vineyard Gazette, later for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He has written a variety of books about golf and other subjects, the most recent of which is The Second Life of Tiger Woods. His magazine work has been featured in multiple editions of The Best American Sports Writing. He holds a U.S. patent on The E-Club, a utility golf club. In 2016, he was given the Donald Ross Award by the American Society of Golf Course Architects, the organization’s highest honor.

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