When Will Tiger Play Next? Woods to Skip WGC-FedEx to Play PGA Championship

Tiger Woods will not return to the PGA Tour at least until next month after opting to skip the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational next week.

The 15-time major winner announced on Friday that he will not play at the event in TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee, in order to prepare for the PGA Championship, which is scheduled for the following week.

"Disappointed to miss @WGCFedEx, but doing what I think is best to prepare me for the @PGAChampionship and upcoming FedExCup Playoffs," Woods tweeted on Friday.

Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco from August 6 to August 9 will be the first major of the season.

Originally scheduled for April, The Masters was moved to November because of the COVID-19 outbreak, while The Open Championship, which was in the calendar between July 16 and 19, was canceled in April.

The FedEx Cup playoffs, meanwhile, begin with The Northern Trust at TPC-Boston between August 23 and 26, followed by the BMW Championship at Olympia Fields in Chicago the following week. The Tour Championship, the season finale, is set to take place between September 4 and 7 in Atlanta.

Disappointed to miss @WGCFedEx, but doing what I think is best to prepare me for the @PGAChampionship and upcoming FedExCup Playoffs.

— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) July 24, 2020

Woods returned to the PGA Tour for the first time since February last week, finishing 6-over par for the tournament and 15 shots behind eventual winner and new world No. 1 Jon Rahm at the Memorial Tournament.

The score was Woods' third-worst in relation to par in 18 appearances at the Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio.

"I definitely need more reps," he said after the final round.

"I think I need to work on my putting a bit and clean that up. But as far as my swing, it felt good. I was able to hit good shots. Friday was a bit off physically, but overall, for my first week back, it was a lot of positives.

"I competed and played again. It's been a while. It was nice to get my feet wet and compete and play again. Tough, tough conditions to start out my first week back. But it was good to get the feel and the flow of competing again."

With the exception of 2007, when the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational was moved to the week before the PGA Championship, throughout his career Woods has never played the week before a major.

His schedule has been even more carefully managed over the last three years, when he returned from the latest of four surgeries he underwent between 2014 and 2017 to address chronic back issues.

Woods' back has troubled him for years and he admitted he feared he may never play golf again after dropped down to No. 1,199 in the world rankings in 2017.

Since returning from surgery a year later, he has been reluctant to schedule back-to-back events and did not enter the 3M Open, which got underway at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minnesota, on Thursday.

The 15-time major winner pulled out of the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Players Championship in March, due to back issue.

Tiger Woods, PGA Tour
Tiger Woods plays his shot from the third tee during the final round of The Memorial Tournament on July 19 at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. Jamie Squire/Getty