SAN DIEGO – Tiger Woods’ latest injury presents another obstacle in his road to Augusta.
Prior to withdrawing from the Farmers Insurance Open, Woods was expected to make his next start at the Honda Classic (Feb. 26-March 1), which is near his home in South Florida. He has not yet committed to the event, but he has played there each of the past three years.
Because he will drop outside the top 60 in the Official World Ranking, Woods will need a high finish at PGA National to move back inside the top 50 and qualify for the World Golf Championships event at Doral.
Based on his recent form, however, that seems unlikely to happen, which would mean that Woods would make only one other appearance, at Bay Hill, before the Masters – if he sticks to his usual schedule.
He could play the opposite-field event in Puerto Rico, or he could make his first career start in Tampa, San Antonio and/or Houston.
Innisbrook (Tampa) and TPC San Antonio place a premium on ball-striking and are ranked among the most difficult courses on the PGA Tour, while Woods has never played the week before the Masters.
It’s worth noting that, first, Woods has never won a green jacket without first winning an event earlier that season; and, second, he has never made fewer than six PGA Tour starts in the years he won at Augusta (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005).