PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland – It was always going to be a tough choice for Tiger Woods, who has repeatedly said less is more when it comes to his schedule, and he confirmed on Friday at The Open that it will be next week’s World Golf Championship in Memphis that will take the hit.
Following a second-round 70 that left him tied for 130th and well outside the cut at Royal Portrush, Woods said he won’t play the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in order to prepare for the playoffs, which begin in two weeks.
“I'm going to take a couple of weeks off and get ready for the playoffs,” Woods said. “We've got the playoffs coming up, and anything can happen.”
The event in Memphis was relocated this season from Akron, Ohio, where Woods won eight times, as part of the PGA Tour’s schedule makeover and falls at a difficult time for top players.
Had Woods played the event it would have been five starts in six weeks including The Open and three post-season stops. It would also mean Woods would likely play, if he qualifies for the Tour Championship (he’s currently 23rd on the points list), 14 times this season and that apparently is too much.
Woods also said that it wasn’t his play or his struggles this week with what he called a “sore” back that prompted him to skip the World Golf Championship. Instead, it was simply a matter of needing some time off.
“I had a long trip to Thailand [for a family vacation] and then trying to get ready for this event, to play this event, it's been a lot of travel, a lot of time in the air, a lot of moving around and different hotels and everything,” said Woods, who took four weeks off after the U.S. Open before The Open. “I just want to go home.”