ORLANDO, Fla. – Even after two months on the bench, Tiger Woods’ status for the next two weeks, if not the rest of the season, remains very much uncertain.
Three days removed from the commitment deadline for next week’s WGC Bridgestone Invitational, a tournament he’s dominated unlike few others in his career, Woods still hasn’t begun working toward his comeback from physical issued that have dogged him for months.
Swing coach Sean Foley said in a text message Tuesday night that the pair have not been working together, which seemingly creates the very real possibility that Woods will miss the PGA Championship next month, too. Bridgestone and the PGA are staged in consecutive weeks and Woods has regularly played in both.
“We have not hit any balls,” Foley wrote Tuesday night. “And I have no idea what his plans are as far as when he plays again. It’s up to the doctors.”
Hardly a ringing reason for optimism.
Even with his talent and temperament, it’s hard to envision that Woods could get ramped up and ready for a World Golf Championships event or a major with only a few days of preparatory work, especially in light of his physical condition and overall state of readiness.
Woods has played nine holes on the PGA Tour since the Masters in April and dropped to No. 21 in the world ranking this week. Given the layoff and his position on the seasonal points pecking order, the rest of the season is in doubt as well.
Woods stands outside the top 125 in FedEx Cup points and if he doesn’t play over the final three weeks of the so-called regular season, he’ll be ineligible to play in any of the four FedEx Cup events that begin immediately thereafter. In other words, he can’t play even if he’s cleared physically because he didn’t earn enough points.
Thus, Woods would not be eligible to play in the Deutsche Bank Championship, which is hosted by his charity, or defend his title at the BMW Championship outside Chicago, which represents the last PGA Tour event he won, nearly two years ago.
After the Bridgestone and PGA, the last chance to crack the top 125 in FedEx points is the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C., held Aug. 18-21.
Barring an appearance in the Fall Series, the year would effectively be over.