On Tuesday, Tiger Woods landed from Florida and at 1:20 p.m. local time, he drove into a massive parking lot at Medinah Country Club, where the BMW Championship will be held. At 43 and following four surgeries at his back, he has often said this summer that some days he feels stiff, other days he feels fine. No matter his intent to play, it’s the day-to-day unknown that leaves his start in the BMW Championship in question.
Woods said, “I feel good. Feel a lot better than I felt last week. Felt good this morning so I thought I’d give it a go.” He also said he was going to get treatment on his back at Medinah and would not hit any golf balls. He has a 7:50 a.m. (ET) tee time for the pro-am Wednesday and is scheduled to tee off in Thursday’s first round at 12:54 p.m. ET alongside C.T. Pan and Billy Horschel.
Tiger looked physically fine last week in a Tuesday practice round ahead of the Northern Trust. But he didn’t hit a full shot on the final nine holes the following day in the pro-am and then withdrew from the tournament after shooting 75 in the first round. It was the first time since he returned from spinal fusion surgery in April 2017 that he withdrew during a tournament. Woods needs a strong showing this week to advance to next week’s Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta, the season finale. Woods is 38th in the standings and only the top 30 advance to Atlanta.
Woods won the 1999 PGA Championship here, holding off Sergio Garcia by one shot. He also won the 2006 PGA Championship here, by five shots. But Woods will have to improve on his recent form to have a chance to defend his title next week. Since winning the Masters in April, he has played just 13 rounds of golf and missed cuts in the PGA Championship and British Open.
When the first round in the Northern Trust was over, Woods said “that’s just the way it is going to be.” He withdrew three days prior to the start of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a neck strain in March. Woods played the Players Championship the following week and tied for 30th. Two weeks later, he tied for fifth in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and two weeks after that, he won the Masters for the fifth time. It was his first major triumph since winning the 2008 U.S. Open.