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Tiger needs to play really, really well to make WGCs

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Tiger Woods recently released an ambitious schedule to start his 2017 season. Not listed among them are the World Golf Championships events, for which he is not qualified.

Can he qualify for them? Technically, yes. But it’s going to take a Tiger-in-his-prime-like effort to do so.

Woods, if he holds to his schedule, will play four events (three on the PGA Tour, one on the European Tour) prior to the WGC-Mexico Championship (formerly at Doral), which begins on March 2. This is what the current world No. 652, who has 18 WGC wins in his career, would need to do in order to make the trip to Mexico, per the Golf Channel research department:

Woods has two ways to become eligible: Move into either the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking (as of Feb. 20 or Feb. 27) or the top 10 in the FedExCup standings (as of Feb. 27). No. 50 in the world currently has 2.5 points, so as a projection to reach or exceed that average, Woods would need to record either two wins; one win, one second and another top-10; or three seconds in his four starts. As a benchmark, 10th in the FedEx Cup the week before last year’s WGC event was 727 points, so in three PGA Tour starts Woods would need a combination such as a win (500), a fourth (135), and a sixth (100) or two seconds (600) and a fourth (135) to exceed that amount.

Woods hasn’t mentioned any starts beyond the Feb. 23-26 Honda Classic, but the Valspar Championship and Arnold Palmer Invitational are ahead of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, which begins March 22.

In order to make it to the field of 64, Woods would need to do the following (again, according to the research department):

Woods would need to reside inside the top 64 in the world on March 13, which falls before the Arnold Palmer Invitational. So with world No. 64 currently at 2.0 points, Woods would still need a combination of high finishes to reach that average, projected as a victory and a second or two seconds and another top-15 or so, depending upon points available for those events.

In relation to the majors, Woods is qualified for all four through 2018. He has a lifetime invitation to the Masters, an Open exemption until 60 and a lifetime exemption into the PGA Championship. His U.S. Open exemption would currently expire ahead of the 2019 edition at Pebble Beach.