Tiger Woods is skipping next week’s Wells Fargo Championship, apparently deciding he will take more time following his Masters victory — meaning he is not likely to return to competitive golf until the PGA Championship.
Woods issued no statement, but Wells Fargo tournament director Gary Sobba told Charlotte radio station WFNZ that the golfer would not be coming to the event he won in 2007.
Friday was the last day that Woods could commit to the PGA Tour event he has played seven times. He figured to play the tournament to have competitive rounds prior to the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black, which is two weeks later.
There is not believed to be any physical issue with Woods, who captured his 15th major title at the Masters and his 81st PGA Tour title just less than two years after spinal fusion surgery and doubts about continuing his career.
Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, said “Nobody should lose their mind over this.”
Steinberg said winning the Masters took a lot out of Woods both physically and mentally.
“He’s still digesting and appreciating what happened two weeks ago. Honestly, he’s just not ready to play right now,” Steinberg said. “Look back at the transcripts from late last year and early this year, he’s not going to play as much. He’s just going to be smart about it. There’s a huge difference between being hurt and being sore. He’s sore after most tournaments he plays. He requires some downtime and doesn’t feel he has enough time to get ready for next week. And he regrets that he’s not going to be there.”
Woods was interviewed on Thursday by GolfTV, a streaming service that has a contractual arrangement with the golfer to provide content. Part of that involved filming Woods playing golf Friday at his home club in Florida; tweeted video from the day showed Woods looking fine.
“Now the quick turnaround to the PGA is just a month away,” Woods said Thursday in the GolfTV interview. “And so that’s what I’m looking for. I’m looking back in my past, and looking at how did I do it in 2000 at the U.S. Open, the British Open and the PGA [tournaments he won]? Those were quick turnarounds, one month each. What did I do? Having that positive Rolodex to revert back to is going to help.
“Also, I want to enjoy this. But also down in the back of my mind thinking, ‘You know what, I have another major in about a month.’ The prep starts. I can mentally prep for this. I don’t really want to do too much right now. I haven’t gotten to the point where I’m willing to put in the hours yet and do the dirty stuff to get the body ready, to put in all the hours of hitting golf balls and putting. I’m doing all the visual stuff, but I haven’t put in the physical work yet. But it’s probably coming this weekend.”
Woods, 43, has four top-11 finishes at Quail Hollow, but he has also missed the cut twice. Last year he tied for 53rd in his first start following the Masters.
He has also said several times that he plans to play less this year after competing 18 times on the PGA Tour in 2018.
“I played a little bit too much last year because I kept trying to qualify for World Golf Championship events and the [FedEx Cup] playoffs,” Woods said following his Masters victory. “The playing schedule doesn’t change; I’m going to play a little bit less than I did last year. Again, just play in the tournaments I do play in, I’ll be fully invested and committed to playing and trying to win.”