Tiger Woods to skip Tournament of Champions in Hawaii

Aug 12, 2018; Saint Louis, MO, USA; Tiger Woods waves to the crowd on the 9th green during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bellerive Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports

Tiger Woods to skip Tournament of Champions in Hawaii

PGA Tour

Tiger Woods to skip Tournament of Champions in Hawaii

Tiger Woods will not be starting his 2019 PGA Tour run in Hawaii.

In the wake of speculation that Woods could start the new year by playing in the Sentry Tournament of Champions, tournament General Manager Alex Urban told Golfweek Thursday that Woods would not be playing in the PGA Tour event at Kapalua Resort this year.

“We always welcome every winner to the Sentry Tournament of a Champions and would have loved to have Tiger play here in Maui. But we are proud of the field that will tee it up next week, which is the best the tournament has seen in years,” Urban said.

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg also confirmed he isn’t playing in a text message to Golfweek.

Woods qualified to play in the TOC by virtue of his win at the Tour Championship in September. It was his first PGA Tour victory since 2013. This would be his first start in the TOC since 2005.

The deadline to commit for the event that begins on Jan. 3 – a week from today – is the close of business on Friday.

The decision not to play in Hawaii means Woods will likely begin his 2019 PGA Tour season at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines starting on Jan. 24.

Woods began his memorable 2018 season – which included 18 PGA Tour events – at Torrey Pines. He has won there eight times.

Woods said at the Hero World Challenge and again in a pre-Presidents Cup tour in Australia earlier this month that he both played too much in 2018 and expects to play fewer events next year, paring his 2019 schedule down about 15 tournaments.

“I was not physically prepared to play that much golf,” Woods said on Nov. 27 at the Hero World Challenge. “I’m not going to play as many as I did this year,” he added.

The “only thing set in stone is I’m playing Genesis and the four majors. Other than that we’re still taking a look at it as far as, what is too much? We know seven of nine was too much. What can I handle going forward? I need to make sure I’m rested and ready to play. I have found through all of that, I’ve played all my good tournaments when I had time off and I felt rested. If I didn’t feel rested I didn’t play well. Maybe that’s being a little bit older, but I just think it’s important. Playing seven of nine last year was too much,” he added.

Woods also played in the Ryder Cup and the Hero World Challenge in addition to the 18 official events. In the past 10 years, the only time he played more often was in 2012. He is the 2019 Team USA Presidents Cup captain and hopes to play in that event, as well.

Among the notables expected to play at the TOC next week are defending champion Dustin Johnson, 2018 Player of the Year Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Bryson DeChambeau.

ESPN’s Bob Harig was first to report the news that Woods will be “spending more time with family and friends over the holiday and will start his season at a later event.”

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