Tiger Woods announced on Friday via Twitter that he will make his next start at The Players Championship, the PGA Tour’s flagship event, which is held May 7-10 at TPC Sawgrass.
Woods won the event two years ago and missed competing in it last year following his back surgery a few months prior. This time, he’s hoping for a repeat of 2013.
Looking forward to going back to THE PLAYERS this year, hoping for a repeat of 2013.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) April 24, 2015
Woods is coming off a T17 finish at the Masters earlier this month — which was considered significant progress from the last time we saw him compete in February. In his first start in 2015 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Woods shot scores of 73-82 to miss the cut. He also battled with serious chipping problems. The following week, he only played 11 holes at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, where he’s won 8 times, before he withdrew due to back stiffness.
Shortly thereafter, Woods announced he would be taking an indefinite leave of absence because his game was not acceptable for tournament golf and he would return when he felt like he could compete and contend again. That, of course, came at the Masters, where he was T5 heading into the final round before he posted a one-over 73 on Sunday to drop him 12 spots down the leaderboard. However, he appeared to have resolved his issues around the greens and a T17 was considered a strong showing given the circumstances.
In the final round at the Masters, Woods hit his wrist on a tree root during his approach shot into the ninth hole. He looked like he was in a significant amount of pain, but he said afterward that a bone popped out, but he put it back in. (Just like we all do when that happens!) There was some speculation that Woods might miss an event following the supposed injury, but a few days later, his agent Mark Steinberg told ESPN.com that Woods’ wrist “is fine.”
However, in his interview after the final round of the Masters, he told reporters that he would be taking some time off.
“Not going to be for a while,” said Woods, referring to his next start. “I have a little time off, and go back to the drawing board, work on it again, and refine what I’m doing. I really like what I’m doing; I’ve got my distance back and everything is good.”
Friday’s announcement comes a few days after Jack Nicklaus told local reporters at a fundraising event at Ohio State that he had a long talk with Woods at the Masters and the 14-time major champion told him that he would play at The Memorial Tournament, which Nicklaus hosts every year. The event takes place four weeks following The Players.
Whether or not Woods adds an event in between The Players and The Memorial ahead of the U.S. Open remains to be seen. He is currently ranked 106th in the world and is not qualified for next week’s WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship.