Golf: Tiger Woods confirms he will play in US PGA playoff opener

Tiger Woods had struggled with back issues and skipped events before the golf season was shut down in March 2020.
Tiger Woods had struggled with back issues and skipped events before the golf season was shut down in March 2020.PHOTO: AFP

MIAMI (AFP) - Tiger Woods confirmed Friday he will play in next week's US PGA Tour playoff opener, The Northern Trust at TPC Boston, after sharing 37th in last week's PGA Championship.

The 15-time major winner and reigning Masters champion ranks 47th in the FedEx Cup season playoff points standings and must rise into the top 30 to reach the Tour Championship next month in Atlanta.

"Excited to head to Boston for @TheNTGolf and start the #FedExCup Playoffs," Woods tweeted Friday.

Woods struggled with back issues and skipped events before the Covid-19 pandemic shut down the golf season in March. He shared 40th last month at the Memorial in his only tuneup for last week's first major tournament of the year at TPC Harding Park.

World number 16 Woods won at TPC Boston in 2006 and has three other top-three showings over the layout, but has played there only once since 2013.

Woods, 44, has won 82 US PGA titles, level with Sam Snead for the all-time record.

Woods, who has played only five events all year, could play four tournaments in five weeks if his back holds, counting the PGA and the three tour playoff events.

He must remain among the top 70 in points after Boston to qualify for the second playoff event, the BMW Championship on August 27-30 at Olympia Fields, then crack the top 30 to make the season-ending Tour Championship on September 4-7 at East Lake.

Woods won the 2018 Tour Championship but last year did not qualify for the chance to defend that title, withdrawing from the first playoff event with a strained oblique then sharing 37th at the BMW, following which he had arthroscopic knee surgery and didn't play again until last October's Zozo Championship victory in Japan, where he matched Snead's mark.