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Golf: There’s still time for Tiger Woods

30 Jul | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Golf: There’s still time for Tiger Woods

The 14-time major champion returns to action at the Quicken Loans National this week, but is running out of events to save his season

If Tiger Woods is going to rescue – or, at the very least, elongate – his 2015 season, then now is the time to do so.

Woods returns to action for the first time since missing the cut at the Open at the Quicken Loans National this week – a tournament he is also hosting.

The schedule of the 14-time major champion, who has dropped to 258th in the Official World Golf Ranking, looks a little light between now and the end of the season, though.

With no plans to change his calendar, a win at the Robert Trent Jones GC in Virginia is required if he is to qualify for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational – where he has won eight times – and seal his place in the FedEx Cup opener The Barclays three weeks later.

40/1 – Tiger Woods to win the Quicken Loans National

That seems unlikely given Woods’ performance at St Andrews, where he finished seven-over-par en route to missing cuts in successive majors for the first time in his career.

Some of the reaction to that performance, as tends to be the way when the former world number one is the topic of conversation, has bordered on the hysterical.

Calls for the retirement of a professional golfer who is yet to turn 40 do not warrant acknowledgement, other than to say that it reflects more on those making the claims than the player himself.

Woods could never win another tournament again and would still be considered one of – if not the – greatest golfer of all time.

The simple fact, though, is that he can still compete. Golfers who cannot are not able to shoot five-under-par to finish inside the top 20 at the Masters.

Woods did that in April, despite having only played 47 holes of competitive golf in the previous four months.

His decision to not play again until the Players Championship four weeks later – thus allowing any potential momentum gained at Augusta National to drain away – remains curious, but he will not view this week’s task as an impossible one.

There may even be a couple of reasons to be cautiously optimistic.

Woods’ previous appearance at a standalone PGA Tour event was the Greenbrier Classic at the beginning of the month and, while a tied 32nd finish is nothing for him to boast about, his three rounds in the sixties – including a bogey-free last day – were encouraging.

He is one of six entrants who played at the RTJ Golf Club – a new venue for this year – at the Presidents Cup ten years ago. The course has changed significantly since then, but a sense of familiarity – plus his responsibilities as tournament host – may help him find something extra.

Enough for Woods to win his first tournament win in two years? Probably not, but a strong performance – a top-10 finish would represent his best result of the season – would at least give him a significant boost heading into the US PGA Championship next month.

5/1 – Tiger Woods to finish in the top 10 at the Quicken Loans National

Should Woods’ game continue to elude him, though, then Whistling Straights will be his final tournament of a forgettable 2015 season.

Quicken Loans National

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