Back in April, we commented on a few peculiarities of Tiger Woods’ golfing career, and nothing that has happened since has changed our position. He missed the cut at the PGA Championship—newly moved to May on the schedule—and Woods was an afterthought at the U.S. Open. He also missed the cut at the British Open as well this past weekend.
Beyond the obvious question of “How in the hell did he win the Masters in the first place?”, there is the reality of Woods’ physical abilities, which suffer in colder climates like the ones at Pebble Beach for the U.S. Open and in Northern Ireland for the British Open. Tiger took off a lot of time, too, before the PGA Championship, and it’s clear he can’t play a lot of golf every year like he used to in his prime.
The weather in Augusta, Georgia, is often warm for the Masters, and Tiger loves that course set up. He should just focus on two events in 2020: The Masters, so he can defend his title with his best game possible, and the Ryder Cup, so he can overturn that abysmal reputation he has in the event.
The prep for the Masters served Woods well this year, and there’s no reason it can’t do the same in 2020. He can skip the PGA, the U.S. Open, and the British Open next year, all in preparation for the Ryder Cup in September 2020, to played in Wisconsin. Who knows what the weather will be like there, but if summer goes long, it should fit right into Tiger’s wheelhouse.
That is what Woods is reduced to now, for what it is worth: a part-time golfer who can still win when things are right—but who looks like a duffer when things are not right, either with his back or with the weather.
Tiger’s best shot at Ryder Cup redemption in 2020 is to play at Augusta and then not much more until September in Wisconsin. Will he do this? Probably not, but it’s what he should do.