“I have to play well, I have to earn my way to East Lake; I haven’t done it yet, ”Woods said Wednesday at Olympia Fields Golf Club (Illinois), site of the BMW Championship. “I need a good week. Otherwise, I’m going home. It’s a big week for me. I can’t wait to get out and compete. “
“This golf course is more like a US Open than a regular tournament. It’s the playoffs, and it’s supposed to be tough.
Olympia Fields was the site of the 2003 US Open won by Jim Furyk. Woods is one of four players this week to have taken part in this tournament. Woods finished 20th and said he doesn’t remember much of the course 17 years ago. He played a nine-hole practice round on Tuesday and was scheduled to see the rest of the course on Wednesday.
He will have to master it quickly in order to have the necessary result to play another week in this 2019-20 season.
Woods, 44, is 57th in FedEx Cup points after appearing in just six events this season, including a Zozo Championship win in October. He has to be in the top 30 after this week to qualify for the Tour Championship in Atlanta.
To do this, Woods will need a minimum of a sixth place finish, but since there is no cup this week and everyone who finishes will be awarded points, Woods looks more like a fourth place or better to pass. to something else.
It’s going to require a step up in the game compared to what we’ve seen at the Memorial Tournament, the PGA Championship and the Northern Trust. In all three events, Woods was basically out of conflict midway through.
Every aspect of his game has suffered at times, although last week at TPC Boston he was well off the tee and improved over the weekend. He hit 16 greens in regulation Sunday and shot 66, his best score of the year.
“I have to put the ball in play here and put it in the right places,” he said. “This is set up more like a [U.S.] Open. With the weather as hot as it is supposed to be, this rough will only get more difficult. This is not a golf course where I feel you can master it with a driver everywhere. Totally different configuration. ”
The last time Woods played for consecutive weeks was in December at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, followed by the Presidents Cup in Australia. In the latter event, where Woods was the United States captain, he skipped Saturday’s game due to stiff back.
The last time he toured in a row was in early 2019 at the Genesis Invitational (tied for 15th) and the WGC-Mexico Championship (T10). But after this last event, Woods had a stiff neck and skipped his next start.
He hasn’t played three consecutive weeks since the 2018 FedEx Cup playoffs, when the format had four events, three of them back to back. He was sixth in the last of three straight games before the tour had a week off. He went on to win the Tour Championship for his 80th victory on the PGA Tour.
Woods would like to go back because “I have fond memories there”. He also admitted to having struggled to bring his game to the course in his three starts since resuming play due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“One of the reasons I delayed and didn’t come back to play sooner was that we just didn’t know how the protocols were going to be, and was our sport going to be safe to come out here, or were we -all of us? will get sick, ”he said. I just played enough tournaments to try to understand and feel what is going on. I hope I can do it this week. ”
Woods kicks off at 1:14 p.m. ET Thursday with Carlos Ortiz and Bubba Watson. They start playing at 2:09 p.m. Friday.