On the heels of his inaugural trip to Turkey for last week’s unofficial World Golf Final and just hours after announcing he would play next year’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, Tiger Woods was again pressed on whether he would consider taking up European Tour membership on Wednesday.
Last week in the wake of news that the European Tour would count starts at the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup toward a player’s 13-event minimum for membership, Woods said he would consider such a move and he echoed those comments during a conference call on Wednesday to announce a new presenting sponsor (Northwest Mutual) for his own World Challenge.
“Now it’s at 13 (events)” Woods said. “Thirteen is a little more different to get to, that’s one of the reasons why they implemented the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. Going forward I don’t know.”
Woods was also asked about his 2013 schedule and another possible conflict with the Torrey Pines PGA Tour stop, which he skipped this year to play Abu Dhabi.
“I’m going to take a look at the schedule after the World Challenge and plan out my schedule through The Masters and see how many I want to play next year,” said Woods, who will play 24 global events this year, including last month’s Ryder Cup, the most since 2005. “Whether this year is a good amount, travel more, travel less. Really analyze what I want to do next.”
The Abu Dhabi stop will be Jan. 17-20 followed the next week by the Farmers Insurance Open (Jan. 24-27) in Southern California.
Finally, Woods was asked about his meeting with the Ryder Cup rookies at Medinah, where he failed to win a match for the first time in his career. Criticized in the past for not being an active leader at the biennial matches, he surprised some with his impromptu talk to the newcomers following the American loss.
“It’s tough to be on a team and not earn points. That’s one of the reasons why I took them aside and shared that,” he said. “It’s far different (than a stroke-play individual event). It’s a little harder in some regards. When you’re out there by yourself no one really cares, we’re so accustomed to playing for ourselves. We have one week every year, at least the U.S. side does, to compete in a team environment. When something doesn’t happen right or positively, it is tough.”