Tiger Woods announced on Friday that he would not be teeing it up in next week’s WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis and instead focus on preparing for the following week’s PGA Championship in San Francisco.
As someone who grew up in West Tennessee, it always stings a bit when Woods skips out on the festivities at TPC Southwind. He’s never teed it up in this event so Friday’s announcement didn’t come as a real shock, even with it being a WGC event. Ss much as it pains the homer side of me to write this, skipping the tournament again this year makes a lot of sense for Woods.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) July 24, 2020
First of all, Memphis in late-July is one of the hottest places in the country and for some reason, TPC Southwind tends to hold heat like a wool blanket. The brutal heat and humidity isn’t a friend of Woods form both a health standpoint – both his back and overall weight – nor a preparation standpoint for the PGA Championship.
TPC Southwind will be playing extremely firm next week, especially the Bermudagrass greens, while TPC Harding Park’s bent/poa greens will be on the softer side. While you could argue that Woods needs all the reps he can get prior to the year’s first major given the long break and his already limited schedule, the two courses could not be more different from one another.
If Woods elects to go out to San Francisco earlier, get adjusted out there, and play even one extra practice round out there compared to a possible four-day stretch in the Memphis heat, it’s a no-brainer that going out West makes the most sense.
Tiger will turn 45-years-old this year, he isn’t too worried about reaching a certain number of events played, he’s chasing majors and playing at courses he feels comfortable at.
Woods made his first start since the PGA Tour season resumed in last week’s Memorial Tournament in Ohio. He made the cut on the number to play the weekend before finishing the week at 6-over in a tie for 40th.