By the numbers, things look good for Tiger Woods.
Woods has been installed as the number one betting favorite in the 2018 PGA Tour money championship event by Bovada. This makes a lot of sense given his recent statement about his preference to stay away from certain positions and stay away from certain holes, and how he’s taken control of his own game.
It would certainly be odd for Woods to make a final run at a major championship and not have the motivation to avenge his misses in those games. He also knows what it would mean to win a fifth major championship in a career that has only five such triumphs on its resume. But, despite his coach’s wishes to see him leave the professional life behind, Woods ruled out a full-time return to the PGA Tour.
Tiger was asked at a press conference about his timetable in making a return. Woods initially responded that he would be ready to play by August, but then said he would still be with the PGA Tour for a few events. If he plays events next month, in Greenbrier and with new Nike endorser Dustin Johnson at Riviera, he will not return to the circuit until his respective events in late September and early October.
Woods also explained that he doesn’t see his game ready for action until Masters week. But, this would be the second straight year he would be away from competition before the Masters. Woods is also expected to play in The Memorial on the 18th hole of Muirfield Village just prior to the upcoming Masters.
Woods’ absence for both The Masters and The Memorial will put him behind and out of sorts if he wants to make a run at the career Grand Slam, which he’s never won. While there are a ton of factors at play with his career, he needs to win his event at Augusta to avoid the additional Masters disqualification risk.
Now this is not the case at the Players Championship.
Woods has performed well at the Players Championship for a long time, but, in this year’s edition, he’s unlikely to see anything less than great from the field of major talent. His fair share of top 10 finishes in the event — including a victory in 2001 — has made him the defending champion and he’s capable of hanging around for the weekend.
Woods would need a great week to finish within the top 10 and get in contention for the event. This seems highly unlikely.
Regardless of Woods’ schedule, there will always be a lot of talk about how his golf will impact the world of golf. Once considered the tournament champion of golf, Woods just doesn’t appear to be enjoying it anymore. Hopefully his next tournament will be a tough one to miss.