Tiger Woods announced today that he would miss the British Open in July if his wife Elin has their first child around that time.
However, Tiger is set to start his season Thursday at the Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines near San Diego, his first tournament of the season. Woods carries over from last year a PGA TOUR winning streak that dates to July, 2006. He is going for his seventh win in a row on the PGA TOUR, and odds are in his favor as the two-time defending champion.
This year’s start is going to be different for Tiger for many reasons.
First… This is the first year of the FedEx Cup which really might not be all that different since Tiger will just be exchanging the “money list” for “FedEx Cup Points”, and since all Tiger does is win this might not be that big of a change. At least not at the beginning of the season, but it will be interesting to see how many extra tournaments he and many other big name players end up playing in lesser known events at the end of the year. Tiger typically only plays around 17 PGA Tour events each year, so we might be seeing a lot more of him and other top pros like Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh.
Second… Tiger and Elin recently announced they were expecting a baby sometime during the summer (probably July) and not only will Tiger probably want to take time off to be with his newborn, but the British Open is during July and is also worth extra FedEx Cup Points, so Tiger taking a month off or even maybe missing the British (which he said he’d do at his press conference today) could heat up the fight for who gets into the FedEx Cup playoffs at season’s end.
Third… This is Tiger’s first full season on tour after his father died last year and although he seems to be coping well, I’m sure it will be a little odd to not see his father anymore when those tough times do occur. I’m sure the birth of his new baby will also help as it allow him to pass on the love and teaching his father passed onto him.
However you look at it, Tiger will probably be just fine. Money list-points, kid-no kid, wife- no wife… it all is really meaningless as far as golf. The guy can just flat out play as we’ve all seen for the last 10-15 years and his mental game might even be more powerful then his golf game.
Look for another great year from Tiger and let’s all hope this new FedEx Cup system creates quite a bit of good golf towards seasons end.
Note: Tiger tees off Thursday at 11:50am ET on the North course.
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