August 21, 2018

Tiger Prepares For The Northern Trust

PARAMUS, N.J. – After making a heroic run for his 15th major title at the PGA Championship, Tiger Woods is back in action this week in The Northern Trust at Ridgewood Country Club.

It marks the start of the four-tournament FedExCup Playoffs, with Woods competing for the first time since 2013. He is the only multiple winner, prevailing in the inaugural competition in 2007 and again in 2009.

Woods has committed to the first three events in hopes of advancing to the 30-player TOUR Championship, Sept. 20-23 at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Ga., where the overall winner collects $10 million.

“That should get me into it,” said Woods. “It’s about pacing myself and making sure I don’t practice too much, don’t overdo it and making sure my training schedule goes well.”

It will be the 15th start of the season for the 42-year-old Woods, on track to play 18 tournaments for the first time since 2012, when he competed 20 times around the world.

Prior to an abbreviated practice round Tuesday, Woods told the media he has improved at preparing his body for the rigors of the sport as the summer has progressed.

“I’ve gotten better and felt better,” he said.

After not playing due to injury most of the last two years, Woods has five top-10 finishes this season, including a pair of runner-up showings. Two weeks ago, he claimed solo-second at the PGA in St. Louis, closing with a 64.

Starting the season at No. 656 in the Official World Golf Ranking, Woods has climbed to No. 26.

“I was just hoping to be able to play golf with my kids and with my buddies at home,” said Woods. “I wasn’t thinking about the Tour and now I’m contending in major championships and had a chance to win a couple. It’s so special to have this opportunity again.”

Woods has 79 career victories on the PGA Tour, second all-time to Sam Snead with 82. Woods trails only Jack Nicklaus (18) in major titles.

Those records seemed out of reach a year ago, when Woods underwent back surgery for the fourth time.

“In order to get Jack’s record, I have to pass Sam’s record,” Woods said. “Just simple math. In order to get to Jack’s ultimate 18 I’ve got to pass Sam’s, and I want to make that happen. I have been close to winning tournaments this year. I think if I keep giving myself opportunities, I’ll get the job done.”

Woods has also improved his chances of making the U.S. Ryder Cup Team for the eighth time. He was previously named a vice-captain by Jim Furyk for the matches, Sept. 28-30 at Le Golf National outside Paris, France.

Many believe Woods is likely to receive one of four wild card choices by Furyk. He will make three selections on Sept. 4 and his final pick on Sept. 10.

“I want to play,” said Woods. “One of my goals was to make that team, because to be a part of that team you’ve got to be one of the best 12 players, and I’m kind of trending towards that.”

Woods put his clubs away for a few days after the PGA and watched his kids play soccer. After a short break, he got back to work and continues to experiment with driver shafts and lofts.

“I’m still monkeying around,” he said.

On Tuesday, Woods played eight holes with Kevin Chappell and Zach Johnson, then zipped over to No. 15 and played the last four holes with Johnson.

Woods starts the first round on Thursday at 7:54 a.m. ET with Marc Leishman and Tommy Fleetwood. On Friday, they begin at 12:55 p.m.

The top 125 players on the FedExCup points list qualified this week. The field will be sliced to 100 next week for the Dell Technologies Championship at TPC Boston, then the top 70 for the BMW Championship at Aronimink Golf Club near Philadelphia.