Expectations Set Low for Tiger Woods US Open Appearance

Tiger Woods enters the 124th U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 June 13-16 with low expectations based on his lack of tournament performances since his car accident in February 2021.

BOSTON, Mass – Tiger Woods fans are disappointed after he “teased” to the media at the PGA Championship two weeks ago that he would make his return to the PGA Tour this week at The Memorial Tournament June 6-9 at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio, an event he has won five times in his career.

The tournament is hosted by Jack Nicklaus and designated by the PGA Tour as “signature event” featuring a limited field and $20 million purse. Last week the tournament’s official social media account got fans talking when it posted the eyes emoji without context, leading many fans to speculate that it was a cryptic hint that Woods would tee it up when the tournament begins June 6.

Those hopes were misguided when the field was announced June 3 with Woods a noticeable absentee from the list. Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele and reigning champion Viktor Hovland will compete. Robert MacIntyre, winner of last week’s memorable Canadian Open with his father Dougie on the bag, has withdrawn.

Golf fans are startled by Tiger Woods’ lack of tournament participation especially after watching a train wreck in Round 2 at the PGA Championship where he posted a 7-over 77 and another missed cut in a major.

Woods has played in just three PGA Tour-sanctioned events since having reconstructive ankle surgery after the 2023 Masters to address issues lingering from a high-speed car accident in 2021. His first appearance of 2024 came at February’s Genesis Invitational, but he withdrew in the second round due to a bout of flu.

The 48-year-old Woods played in The Masters in April and made the cut, but the lack of competitive rounds under his belt proved embarrassing since he finished in 60th place at 16-over-par – a far cry from the force he was when he donned the green jacket five times at Augusta National.

The 15-time major champion took a month off before the PGA Championship in May, and before the tournament, he admitted he was lacking sharpness due to his limited schedule. He missed the cut after shooting 7-over par with low-scoring conditions at Valhalla. In the second round, after a par on the par-5 first hole, Woods took a triple-bogey on No. 2, then after a bogey on No. 3, he tripled No. 4. The 7-over-par on those three holes doomed him.

Woods, 48, won 2000, 2002, 2008 U.S. Open Championships plus 12 other major championships and 82 total PGA Tour victories in his Hall of Fame career.

“My body’s okay,” Woods said before his opening round in Kentucky. “It is what it is. I wish my game was a little bit sharper. Again, I don’t have a lot of competitive reps, so I am having to rely on my practice sessions and getting stuff done either at home or here on-site.”

Woods received a special exemption to play in next week’s US Open June 13-16 at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina. Even the “talking heads” at Golf Channel are skeptical about what type of game Woods has these days. It’s crystal clear to me that in the wake of his disastrous performance at Valhalla, Woods needs to compete more if he is to stand up to the test of a major championship.

“Unfortunately, I hit too many shots,’’ Woods said after missing the cut at Valhalla. “I got off to bad start and … just kept making mistakes and things you can’t do, not just in tournaments but in majors especially. I hung around for most of the day, but unfortunately the damage was done early.’’

Based on the amount of tournament golf Tiger Woods has played in the last three years, his career is over but he has not officially announced his retirement yet, which is a something pro golfers never do.

Apparently, Woods’ body can’t complete 72 holes anymore in a two-week span or he would have played The Memorial. With only 70 PGA Tour players in the field at The Memorial, the timing was right to tune his game under tournament conditions and prepare for the third major championship of the year.

Reality has set in and the chances of Tiger Woods making a significant impression at the 124th U.S. Open next week at Pinehurst, is improbable. Correction on my part, let me change that to the chances of Tiger Woods making a significant impression next week are straight up impossible.


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