Tiger Woods missed the cut at the Bethpage, struggling to deal with the Black Course’s quirks after being paired with leader Brooks Koepka and Open
Tiger Woods missed the cut at the Bethpage, struggling to deal with the Black Course’s quirks after being paired with leader Brooks Koepka and Open champion Francesco Molinari.
He shot 72 and 73 for a combined five over after two rounds after a double bogey on his first hole.
Woods’ preparations for the event have come under scrutiny after only playing nine holes in the build up week and not competing since the Masters.
Woods took the decision not to play – missing Quail Hollow – after the calendar change left him with just five weeks in between Majors.
At 43 Woods decided he needed more recovery time after winning his 15th Major at Augusta. The stunning comeback to a fifth Green Jacket took its toll on his body, as did the quick turnaround between third and fourth rounds after the start was put forward due to expected weather changes on the Sunday.
And he opted to sit out the four events in between the Masters and the PGA Championship. Quail Hollow was the only event he’d have likely played anyway but he decided it against as he wanted more time to recover.
“I wanted to play at Quail Hollow, but to be honest with you, I wasn’t ready yet to start the grind of practicing and preparing and logging all those hours again,” Woods said last week.
“I was lifting, my numbers were good. I was feeling good in the gym, but I wasn’t mentally prepared to log in the hours.”
It was only the sixth time he decided against playing between the Majors, but that could now become a regular occurrence with his schedule.
“Generally, after the Masters I used to take four weeks off there. Now, with the condensed schedule, it’s trying to find breaks,” Woods said.
“I know that I feel better when I’m fresh. The body doesn’t respond like it used to, doesn’t bounce back quite as well, so I’ve got to be aware of that.”
However Woods is next expected to feature at Memorial on May 30 at Muirfield before the US Open at Pebble Beach on June 13.
And the rest of his season up until the PGA Tour playoffs could include only Memorial, the U.S. Open, The Open Championship and the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
Missing the cut at the PGA Championship was just the ninth time he had missed a cut during a Major since turning pro, but he remained positive after the incredible start to 2019.
“Well, it’s a nice problem to have,” Woods said. “You know, I’ve enjoyed being the Masters champion again and the PGA was a quick turnaround, and unfortunately I just didn’t play well.
“I didn’t do all the little things I need to do correctly to post good scores and put myself in position to shoot good scores.
“I’m the Masters champion and 43 years old, and that’s a pretty good accomplishment.
“I just wasn’t moving the way I needed to. That’s the way it goes. There’s going to be days and weeks where it’s just not going to work, and today was one of those days.”
And Woods reckons he can go for number 16 at Pebble Beach for the US Open.
“There’s no reason why I can’t get up to speed again and crank it back up,” he said.
“I’ve got to start feeling a little bit better first before that happens. We’ll do that first and then start cranking it back up again.”