SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — Tiger Woods made another early exit from a major championship on Saturday and had no idea where he was headed.
He playfully threw out one possibility.
“I’m going to go home and watch the leaders tee off and play,” he said. “Actually, I’ll go to my sports bar, how about that?”
Woods, who closed out a 73 and missed the cut at the PGA Championship, has a restaurant in South Florida that opened at the start of the week. He wasn’t planning on being home this early, though it wasn’t a surprise considering how his season has gone.
He now has missed the cut in three straight majors, and four of his last five. He has failed to break par in his last seven rounds at the majors, the longest such streak of his career. His scoring average in the majors this year was 73.8.
The only question when he left Whistling Straits was where he would show up next.
Woods caused a stir Friday night when he committed to the Wyndham Championship next week in North Carolina, a tournament he has never played. It’s the final event before the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs. Only the top 125 qualify, and Woods was at No. 186 going into the PGA Championship.
Mathematically, he would have to finish alone in second at the Wyndham to get into the playoffs and extend his season. More likely, he would have to win. And that seems like a tall order for someone who hasn’t come close to contention in two years.
And he might not even play. The deadline to enter was Friday evening.
“I’m just going to sit back and I’ll go through it with my team. We’ll talk about it, what I need to do and see if that’s the right move or not,” Woods said. “We’ll decide next couple of days.”
Tournament director Mark Brazil braced for that possibility Friday evening when he said he has been in touch with Woods’ agent “and understand that Tiger has entered the field to keep his options open.”
Otherwise, Woods’ season is over, even if he doesn’t look at it that way.
“It’s not really about the season. It’s about the year,” Woods said. “I haven’t quite come to grips with the whole non-calendar season yet, this whole wraparound thing. So for me, I still consider it a year. And I still have plenty of golf to be played for the rest of the year … on a global level.”
It wasn’t clear what he meant by global.
Woods is expected to start the 2015-16 season at the Frys.com Open in October in Napa, California. He is playing an exhibition with Matt Kuchar in Mexico. He hinted at a golf course design opportunity in India. And his Hero World Challenge is moving this year to The Bahamas.
As for his game?
Woods said it was building, and that he found a key to his putting Saturday morning “but the damage had already been done.”
In 10 events this year, Woods missed the cut in four of them and withdrew from another. He had three rounds in the 80s. His best finish was a tie for 17th at the Masters, a remarkable effort coming off a two-month break to fix a short game that turned shockingly bad in Phoenix and San Diego. His best week was The Greenbrier Classic. While he tied for 32nd, he finished six shots out of the lead. In the other four events where he made the cut, he was no closer than 10 shots.
“The first two were not very good at all,” Woods said in describing the start to his season. “Hence, took the break to try and figure it out, and came back at Augusta and had my short game back. Then I started getting my ball striking in order, but then I lost my putting. I hit too many balls and neglected my chipping, because I thought that was sound again. And then I just need to do both at the same time. I just haven’t done that.”