Woods risking his future if he plays in PGA Championship

Sitting out one more major is the smarter play, especially when just making the cut would be a stellar result
The vacant parking spot of Tiger Woods is seen near the clubhouse during a practice round prior to the start of the 96th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on August 5, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky. Andrew Redington / Getty Images
The vacant parking spot of Tiger Woods is seen near the clubhouse during a practice round prior to the start of the 96th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on August 5, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky. Andrew Redington / Getty Images

Even when the guy is not around, Tiger Woods casts a long shadow.

As of midday on Wednesday, he had not informed organisers whether he intended to play in the PGA Championship. Almost comically, the first alternate, his status in the event up in the air, is a guy named John Huh, whose nickname around the tour is “Question Mark”.

Woods withdrew in the middle of the fourth round of the Bridgestone Invitational after tweaking his lower back, only four months after having surgery in the same area. The will-he-won’t-he has not stopped since.

If Woods does not play, he will have missed seven of the 26 majors staged since he won his last, in 2008. Small wonder he has not gained ground on Jack Nicklaus’s 18 major titles since then.

Clearly, he will be tempted to try. Woods won the PGA Championship the last time it was held at Valhalla, holding off journeyman Bob May in one of the most scintillating play-offs in major history. He has until his tee time Thursday morning to show.

The bigger question is why he should bother. His back remains in delicate shape and, in hindsight, he almost certainly rushed his return after having surgery in late March. He has virtually no chance of winning, has already missed two of the three majors this year and, barring a miracle, will not play in either the Ryder Cup or FedEx Cup series.

The season is all but lost. Sitting out one more major, especially when merely making the cut would be a stellar result, is the smarter play.

After all, why be the sideshow when you ought to be the headliner?

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Published: August 6, 2014 04:00 AM

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