If Tiger Woods wants to limit his public exposure this year, he could choose to play a reduced schedule with minimal consequences.
Woods could do this even though he won’t become a PGA Tour life member until he completes this season.
If Woods fails to play the minimum 15 events that the PGA Tour requires of its members, he would not lose his exempt status for next year. He’s exempt through 2016 as a multiple tournament winner. He has multiple major championship exemptions currently in effect.
If Woods fails to play 15 events this year, here’s the most significant consequences he risks:
• Loss of voting rights as a PGA Tour member.
• Loss of eligibility to win the PGA of America’s Vardon Trophy for low scoring average (60 official rounds required).
• Loss of eligibility to win the PGA Tour’s Byron Nelson Award for low scoring average (50 official rounds required, Ryder Cup counts as a start but not in rounds played, missed cuts also factor here).
Woods also could be limited in future releases to play in events that conflict with future PGA Tour events, but the Tour has discretion in those matters.
Woods is not required to play a minimum number of events to be eligible to play in the FedEx Cup playoffs. He only needs to gather enough points to qualify for the playoffs. He also is not required to play a minimum number of events to win the Jack Nicklaus Award as the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year, which is based on a vote of the membership, or to win the Arnold Palmer Award as the Tour’s leading money winner.
Woods is eligible to become a PGA Tour life member at the conclusion of this season. That status is awarded to members who are active for 15 years and have won at least 20 PGA Tour events.