It seemed a bit quizzical when earlier this week Tiger Woods committed to the AT&T National, scheduled for late-June, without first committing to next week’s PGA Tour event. Now we know why.
On Tuesday, it was confirmed that Woods will skip the Wells Fargo Championship, likely taking a three-week break before returning for The Players Championship next month, agent Mark Steinberg told GolfChannel.com.
No immediate reason was given for the decision.
Of the 10 previous events held at Quail Hollow Golf Club, Woods failed to play in four of them, missing the tournament with injuries in 2003, ’08 and ’11, and after his father’s death in 2006.
In his six starts at the event, he owns a win in 2007, plus two other top-five results. However, he failed to make the cut in each of his last two appearances.
In last year’s edition of the tournament, he posted scores of 71-73 to fail to reach the weekend. When asked about his struggles after the second round, he said, “The entire week I didn't play the par-5s well. Today I made four pars. You just can't do that, especially when all of them are reachable with irons. I didn't take care of the par-5s, missed a couple other little short ones for birdie, and consequently got no momentum during the round.”
It is clear, though, that Woods’ game is in a much better place now than it was at that point. Following his missed cut last year, he had one win in seven starts, with just one other top-10 finish. Already this year, he owns three victories in just six starts and is coming off a share of fourth place at the Masters two weeks ago.
Despite scores of 70-73-70-70, Woods could have finished even higher on the leaderboard at Augusta National. His third shot into the 15th green on Friday afternoon hit the flagstick and caromed into the creek, then he took an illegal drop, for which he was assessed a two-stroke penalty the following morning, with the Masters Rules Committee creating a maelstrom of controversy in the process.
Though he has yet to commit to The Players, it’s expected that Woods will make that his next start, beginning on May 9.
Woods reclaimed the No. 1 world ranking on March 25, one day after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational. This week marks the 628th week of his career atop those standings.