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Tiger skips WGC to better prepare for PGA Championship

(AFP)

Reigning Masters champion Tiger Woods will not play in next week’s WGC event at Memphis so he can better prepare for the PGA Championship the following week in San Francisco.

Woods, a 15-time major winner, revealed his plans on Friday after sharing 40th last week at the Memorial in his first US PGA Tour start since February.

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“Disappointed to miss @WGCFedEx, but doing what I think is best to prepare me for the @PGAChampionship and upcoming FedExCup Playoffs,” Woods tweeted.

The 44-year-old star has been more careful about taxing his surgically repaired back and knees in his latest comeback, which saw him capture his first major title since 2008 last year at Augusta National.

Woods, ranked 14th, has captured 82 career US PGA titles, matching the career record set by Sam Snead by winning last October in Japan.

Since then, he has served as a player and captain on the triumphant US team in last December’s Presidents Cup in Australia and finished level ninth at Torrey Pines in January and 68th, last among those making the cut, at Riviera in February.

He withdrew from events in March with back issues just before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the season from March until June, but looked healthy in a made-for-TV May exhibition with Phil Mickelson and NFL stars Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.

Playing at the WGC St. Jude Invitational next week in Memphis and the PGA the following week at TPC Harding Park would have meant three starts in four weeks for Woods.

At 42nd in the US PGA playoffs season points rankings, Woods could potentially take two weeks off after the PGA before making his first playoff appearance in a bid to reach the Tour Championship in September in Atlanta.

Changes in the global golf schedule due to the pandemic delayed the PGA from May until August 6-9 and made it the first major to be contested in 2020. 

The British Open was canceled, the US Open was delayed from June to September and the Masters was rescheduled from April to November.

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