Tiger Woods announced Tuesday that he will not play next week at the U.S. Open, saying that his body needs “more time to get stronger.”
Woods said that he is still planning to play twice next month: at the Open Championship at St. Andrews, as well as the JP McManus Pro-Am, scheduled for July 4-5 in Ireland.
In obvious discomfort with his surgically repaired right leg, Woods withdrew May 21 from the PGA Championship following the conclusion of the third round. It was the first time in his pro career that he withdrew during a major.
With only a three-week turnaround between the second and third majors of the year, Woods opted to pull out of the U.S. Open. Making the announcement Tuesday, he said that he had “previously informed” the USGA of his decision.
Because of a spate of injuries, Woods, a three-time U.S. Open winner, has played his national championship just four times since 2013. During that span he has missed three cuts and tied for 21st (2019). His only prior appearance at The Country Club came at the 1999 Ryder Cup, when Woods was part of the U.S. team that rallied on the final day to win back the cup. It remains the only time that he has been on a victorious American squad.
That Woods is building toward the St. Andrews Open is no surprise. After laboring to a 47th-place finish at the Masters, he said that he was committed to playing in the 150th Open, even if his status was uncertain for the next two majors. He is a two-time winner at St. Andrews, romping to victories in both 2000 and 2005, and the flat, linksy terrain will provide an easier walk than either Augusta National or Southern Hills.
“I’m excited to get back out there soon!” he tweeted.
Despite speaking optimistically about his progress, Woods appeared to be in significant discomfort at the PGA Championship. He rallied to make a second consecutive cut in a major – no small feat, given the extent of his injuries – but he shot a third-round 79 and later withdrew. Through 54 holes, he was 21 shots off the lead.
Woods has shot under par in just two of seven major rounds this year and is a combined 25 over par.