To Boston or not to Boston? That is the query many golf watchers were asking about Tiger Woods, after the 36-year-old with a bad back limped to the The Barclays finish line Sunday night after yet another weekend implosion.
There are a myriad of reasons why skipping the upcoming Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston might make sense for Woods:
- He could use the time, after what his website called a “frustrating weekend,” to figure out why he continues to struggle on Saturdays and Sundays (the former No. 1 has just two under-par rounds in the third and fourth rounds since winning the AT&T National in early July)
- His balky back, which caused him obvious discomfort last week, could use some R&R to go along with physical therapy treatments.
- He is unlikely to skip his buddy Notah Begay’s annual charity golf outing on Wednesday.
- He has played six events since the AT&T and he -- like many others, including Sergio Garcia and Jason Dufner -- could use a breather before the PGA Tour’s season-endingTour Championship rolls right into next month’s Ryder Cup matches.
Which brings us to the race for the FedEx Cup, filled with 10 million of a player’s closest friends. The four events that make up the season-within-a-season series are such critical dates on tour golfers’ schedules that many atop the points standings regularly blow off the first or second tourney.
Dufner (a no-show at last week’s tilt at Bethpage Black) and Garcia (who will take a pass at TPC Boston) were just two recent examples of players opting out of one of the tourneys that comprise the so-called playoff season. Woods, himself, ducked out of the first-ever FedEx Cup event in 2007, claiming he was tired after consecutive wins at the Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship.
Dufner could relate.
“Just need to get some rest. I am a little fatigued,” Dufner told PGATour.com during the recent Wyndham Championship.
"I’ve had a pretty heavy schedule since Firestone or so and I’m looking forward to the second part of the playoffs," Dufner added. "I’m just not going to be able to do eight out of nine weeks with the Tour Championship and Ryder Cup at the end of it."
Garcia also needed to rest his weary bones to refresh himself for the Ryder Cup.
“It’s very disappointing, but unfortunately, I have to take a rest somewhere,” Garcia said in a statement about his reason for ditching the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Given that there is no penalty for golfers choosing to bypass a FedEx Cup contest, would anyone (other than his regular pro-am date, outgoing chief executive of Deutsche Bank Americas, Seth Waugh) be shocked if Woods took his achin’ body back to Florida after the Notah Begay III Foundation Challenge instead of jetting over to Boston? Of course, with a Labor Day finish, Tiger would have the chance to rebound on Monday from what has become his standard Saturday and Sunday sag.
As to whether Woods might walk away from the Deutsche Bank -- an outing he missed last year when he failed to qualify for the FedEx Cup series -- a PGA Tour official told us Sunday night that organizers expected the golfer who’s No. 3 in the world and in FedEx Cup points in Boston later this week.
“As of now, Tiger is still very much committed to play at DBC,” the official told us in an e-mail.
Woods indicated as well that he had no plans to blow off Boston as Garcia had.
“Tiger resumes play in the second FedExCup playoff event next week in the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston in Norton, Ma.,” Woods' website article about his disheartening Barclays finish concluded. “The tournament runs Friday through Monday.”
Fingers crossed, Seth.