Woods rues Tour Championship absence after glory of comeback title

By Sports Desk August 20, 2019

Tiger Woods admits missing out on this week's Tour Championship is a blow, but nothing will take away special memories of when "all hell broke loose" during last year's triumph.

Despite winning the Masters in April, for his first major title in 11 years, the 43-year-old has not produced the consistency required to finish in the top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings.

Woods is joined on the sidelines by Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day, among a host of star names who will be absent from the East Lake action on Thursday.

A $15million top prize is on offer, but it was not about the money for Woods last year as he won by two shots for his first tournament win in five years.

Back injury strife had raised concerns over whether Woods would ever again be a contender, but he carried off the trophy on an emotional Sunday in Atlanta, and used that as a platform to build towards the Masters.

Now though, Woods has to suck up the pain of failing to make the elite field.

"It was disappointing not to make it," Woods said. "Last year culminated in a great win, and it turned into what happened, I'm sure, at Augusta, because I was able to prove to myself that I could win again.

"I had come close a couple times and wasn't able to take it over the line, and finally I was able to do that.

"And now I didn't qualify for that event, to go back there, and I wouldn't say quite defend it, but at least be a part of it and play in it. I wasn't able to do that.

"So yeah, it is frustrating. It is disappointing. But that's the way it goes."

Woods was speaking in a teleconference looking ahead to the Presidents Cup in December, when he will captain a United States team in Australia. He has not ruled out playing in the match, too.

Should he find anything close to the form that made him a winner at the Tour Championship 12 months ago, Woods would be an asset to any team.

As he approached the 18th green on the final round at East Lake, enormous crowds flocked behind the American, energised and eager to see Woods polish off a famous victory.

"It gives me chills almost every single time I see it," Woods said. "At the time, it didn't seem like that because I didn't really look back. I only looked back a couple of times over my right shoulder."

Speaking on the PGA Tour website, Woods recalled how "everyone just busted loose behind us and all hell broke loose".

"I got on the green, I looked, and I'm like, Holy cow, there's a lot of people out there," he said.

Rory McIlroy was partnering Woods in the final round but fell away from contention and the Northern Irishman found appreciating the unfolding story alongside him to be difficult.

But he recalled looking back up the fairway as Woods tapped in to win and said the scene "was unbelievable".

"Everyone was so happy for him," McIlroy said.

"People need external things to make themselves happy and remind themselves of the good old days or whatever, and that’s what it was like; Tiger was winning a golf tournament, and it was the good old days."

Related items

  • An fires another 66 to edge clear at Sanderson Farms Championship An fires another 66 to edge clear at Sanderson Farms Championship

    Byeong Hun An carded another six-under 66 to open up a two-stroke lead as the second round of the Sanderson Farms Championship was suspended.

    The South Korean continued his fine start at the Country Club of Jackson on Friday, moving into 12 under after his second straight 66.

    An started his round with four consecutive birdies before finding water to bogey the par-five fifth.

    The 28-year-old recovered with back-to-back birdies at eight and nine before picking up another shot at the 17th.

    An holds a two-shot lead over J.T. Poston (70), George McNeill (67), Scottie Scheffler (66) and Tom Hoge (70).

    Hoge and Scheffler are coming off strong showings at the Greenbrier Classic, where they finished second and tied for seventh respectively.

    Inclement weather led to a delay on the opening day and darkness meant 57 players were unable to finish their second rounds.

    Cameron Percy is the best-placed of those yet to get through 36 holes, sitting at nine under through 11 and in outright sixth.

    Carlos Ortiz (71) and Harris English (71) are tied for seventh at eight under, alongside Seamus Power, who is through 11.

    Joaquin Niemann, the 20-year-old Chilean who won the Greenbrier Classic, is back at four under through 16 holes in his second round.

  • McIlroy scrambles to make Wentworth cut as Rahm, Willett lead McIlroy scrambles to make Wentworth cut as Rahm, Willett lead

    Rory McIlroy scraped into the weekend at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, where Jon Rahm and Danny Willett claimed a share of the lead through 36 holes.

    McIlroy's first round had unravelled in spectacular fashion as he carded a four-over-par 76, leaving him with plenty of work to do when he headed back out onto the course on Friday.

    The world number two needed to get back to one over to make the cut but saw his early progress, with two birdies in four holes, checked by a bogey at the fifth.

    McIlroy was still two strokes shy of his target with five holes remaining but picked up shots at the par-three 14th and par-four 16th to get the job done.

    "I guess I played a bit better today - while still not quite feeling in sync with everything," McIlroy told Sky Sports.

    "I battled well, the conditions were a lot trickier out there today than they were yesterday [Thursday]. I definitely didn't think I was going to get into a position where I didn't need to birdie either of the [last two] holes coming in."

    McIlroy will still require a remarkable turnaround to have any hope of challenging leaders Rahm and Willett over the next two days, though.

    Rahm had already been in contention with a 66 on Thursday but started poorly with bogeys at the first and second.

    A fine recovery followed, with four birdies on the bounce, yet he was still two shots shy of Willett's clubhouse target of 11 under for the week until a superb eagle at the last.

    Willett might have been in an even stronger position, having been five under for the day through five and eight under through 12, signing for seven under as his form faltered on the way back.

    He acknowledged: "I'm probably not back to my best, and I'm still working on the moves and there's still shots in there that I don't like."

    Home hopeful Justin Rose is two shots back and is joined in a tie for third by Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Henrik Stenson, while Francesco Molinari and Patrick Reed are both in the top 20.

    Matt Wallace had led overnight but collapsed completely with seven bogeys in a four-over round.

    Tommy Fleetwood, like McIlroy, came close to missing the cut, albeit in different fashion - carding a three-over 75 on a disappointing day.

  • Hoge earns lead before weather halts Sanderson Farms Championship Hoge earns lead before weather halts Sanderson Farms Championship

    Tom Hoge set the early pace before weather wreaked havoc on day one of the Sanderson Farms Championship.

    Hoge carded an eight-under-par 64 for a one-stroke lead in Jackson, Mississippi, where severe storms forced play to be suspended on Thursday.

    The opening round will resume at 0700 (local time) on Friday, with Hoge ahead of Robert Streb, Cameron Percy and Seamus Power.

    Hoge – still eyeing his first PGA Tour victory – finished his round and enjoyed a flawless day, holing eight birdies to top the leaderboard.

    Fellow American Streb was also bogey-free as he ended the round level alongside Australia's Percy and Irishman Power, who dropped shots throughout their 18.

    Zac Blair is three shots off the pace following his 67, with Emiliano Grillo, Zach Johnson, Mark Anderson, An Byeong-hun (through 11) and J.T. Poston (through eight) also five under.

    Defending champion Cameron Champ opened his bid for back-to-back titles by going one under through eight holes.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.