1:58 PM ET
Bob HarigESPN Senior Author
- Senior golf author for ESPN.com
- Lined golf for greater than 20 years
- Earned Evans Scholarship to attend Indiana College
PORTRUSH, Northern Eire — After taking part in simply two rounds up to now month, Tiger Woods mentioned he wants a break and can head again to Florida to relaxation up for the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs.
An admirable 1-under-par 70 that included bogeys on the ultimate two holes at Royal Portrush on Friday meant a disappointing finish to The Open and the main season for Woods, who after the jubilation of successful the Masters in April has performed simply 4 tournaments with little success.
The again issues that led to 4 surgical procedures up to now 5 years resurfaced, seemingly worse than at any time up to now two years that noticed a resurgence to No. 5 on the planet and two victories, together with his 15th main championship.
“I simply need a while off simply to get away from it,” Woods mentioned after ending at 148, 6 over par, effectively off the 36-hole minimize quantity. “I had a protracted journey to Thailand [for a family vacation after the U.S. Open], after which attempting to prepare for this occasion, to play this occasion, it has been a whole lot of journey, a whole lot of time within the air, a whole lot of shifting round and completely different motels and every thing. I simply need to go dwelling.”
Woods mentioned he did not really feel a lot better than he did Thursday, when he made a single birdie and shot his highest first spherical in The Open (78) and his worst total since an 81 on the 2002 Open. However he performed much better, hitting 14 greens in regulation and a number of other glorious longer photographs.
What appeared to plague him, once more, had been the shorter photographs, which require extra bending and seem to place extra strain on the decrease again space. Woods has usually mentioned the stance for these swings gave him probably the most hassle.
Over two days, Woods performed the six par-5s in 2 over, failing to birdie any of them. He took 32 putts in every spherical.
“I sort of grinded my means across the golf course at the moment,” he mentioned. “I had an opportunity to get it again to even par for the match. I did not deal with the par-5s effectively. I used to be in good place on all three of them. If I dealt with these par-5s effectively, I’d be proper there.”
Effectively, he would have been within the combine to make the 36-hole minimize, which he didn’t do in a serious for the second time this 12 months and 10th time in his profession. Woods has now missed 20 cuts in his profession on the PGA Tour (21 worldwide), three of these coming up to now two years.
Skipping subsequent week’s WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational is just a shock when you think about how exhausting he pushed to make the match a 12 months in the past, when it was performed at Firestone Nation Membership. Woods is now exempt for the entire World Golf Championship occasions — he is received 18 of them — and subsequent week’s match in Memphis would get him some heat climate and computerized world rating and FedEx Cup factors.
But it surely at all times appeared unlikely that Woods, 43, would compete in 5 of six weeks.
As a substitute, he’ll head dwelling to Florida, with hopes of preparing for a three-week stretch of FedEx playoff occasions that begins with the Northern Belief at Liberty Nationwide in New Jersey on Aug. 8.
“I’ll take a few weeks off and prepare for the playoffs,” Woods mentioned. “We have got the playoffs developing, and something can occur. Final 12 months I virtually stole the entire FedEx Cup on the very finish. If it wasn’t for [Justin Rose‘s] little break there on the bunker, it may have been attention-grabbing. So prepare for these occasions. And after that then have a break.”
Woods completed second within the FedEx Cup to Rose final 12 months after successful the Tour Championship at East Lake, the place he entered the occasion 20th within the standings. He presently is 23rd and could have some work to do on the first two playoff occasions at Liberty Nationwide and Medinah to guarantee a spot within the last occasion.
As soon as there, he’ll play below a unique format that won’t have an everyday match winner however solely an total FedEx Cup champ based mostly on a stroke-based seeding system.
Following the Tour Championship late subsequent month, Woods’ solely scheduled occasions at this level are a PGA Tour occasion in Japan in October, the Hero World Problem in early December and the Presidents Cup.
“I simply need to proceed doing what I am doing,” he mentioned. “I’ve gotten a lot stronger over the previous 12 months working with my physios and attempting to get my physique organized in order that I can play at a excessive degree. It panned out; I received a serious championship this 12 months.
“It is only a matter of being constant. That is one of many hardest issues to just accept as an older athlete is that you just’re not going to be as constant as you had been at 23. Issues are completely different. And I’ll have my scorching weeks. I’ll be there in rivalry with an opportunity to win, and I’ll win tournaments.
“However there are occasions after I’m simply not going to be there. And that wasn’t the case 20-some-odd years in the past. I had a unique physique, and I used to be capable of be just a little bit extra constant.”