FILE PHOTO: Nov 23, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tiger Woods lines up a putt on the 16th green during The Match: Tiger vs Phil golf match at Shadow Creek Golf Course. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Tiger Woods has opted against playing in January’s Tournament of Champions, choosing instead to spend “more time with family and friends over the holiday,” ESPN reported Thursday.
It would have been Woods’ first TOC since 2005. He qualified for the winners-only tournament by winning the Tour Championship (here) in September, his 80th career PGA Tour victory.
Woods had until Friday to decide whether to play in the tournament, which begins Jan. 3 on Maui at the Kapalua resort.
Tournament director Alex Urban told ESPN that they heard from Woods’ representatives and that he is “spending more time with family and friends over the holiday and will start his season at a later event.”
Woods has said he plans to play in fewer tournaments in 2019 and would not commit to any tournaments beyond the four majors and the Genesis Open at Riviera in Southern California, which his foundation runs.
“I took a significant break after the Ryder Cup, got away from it for a bit,” Woods said in November. “My training sessions have been good. I’ve been getting a little bit stronger. My core and my legs are definitely stronger than they have been, which is a positive.
“Now I get started working on my game and getting that organized heading into next year. Haven’t really spent a lot of time doing that. I’ve been working more on getting my body ready to handle the rigors of long practice sessions again and getting back to that.”
Woods is expected to make his debut at the Farmers Insurance Open, which begins Jan. 24 at Torrey Pines outside of San Diego, where he has won eight times.
—Field Level Media