With the Masters Tournament just weeks away, Tiger Woods is having to gear up for the final major championship of the calendar year in unusual fashion.
He’s competing this week at the relocated Zozo Championship in Southern California — where he’ll attempt to defend his title and set the PGA Tour’s all-time wins record — but is contemplating playing the Houston Open right before heading to Augusta National.
“I think my plan is just to play and practice,” he said, via ESPN. “I don’t know if I’m going to play Houston or not. I’m not playing next week, and we’ll see how this week goes and make a decision from there.”
Woods: I’m ‘just making sure that I’m ready for Augusta’
The Houston Open is scheduled for the weekend before the Masters at Memorial Park Golf Course. If Woods jumps in, it will mark the first time since 1997 that he’s competed the week before the major.
“It’s not normally played this way, the configuration of events,” Woods said, via ESPN. “We’re not in a Florida swing. This is all different. This whole year’s been different for us.
“The fact that the Masters will be held in November, it’s unprecedented, never been done before. I can’t simulate the normal ramp-up that I normally have, and I don’t think anyone else can either. It will be different for all of us.”
Woods played just seven times on Tour last year, including his win at the Zozo Championship in Japan — which marked his 82nd career win, tying Sam Snead for the most all-time.
He’s struggled since play resumed after the COVID-19 hiatus, however, failing to finish better than his T37 performance at the PGA Championship in August. He missed the cut at the U.S. Open last month, too, his last outing on Tour.
Though a win at Sherwood Country Club in Southern California this week would be historic, that isn’t his priority.
His focus is on the Masters.
“The whole idea is to be ready in a few weeks and whether or not that’s playing one more event, whether that’s Houston or just playing here at Zozo, just making sure that I’m ready for Augusta,” he said, via ESPN.
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