Woods, 44, hasn’t played a competitive round in the PGA since the Genesis Invitational on Feb. 16. Shortly after that, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down all sports, including golf, nearly worldwide. Numerous PGA tournaments have been canceled or rescheduled, including the U.S. Open, the Masters and the Ryder Cup.
Back problems would have kept Woods from competing in the Players Championship in early March had it not been canceled. He also declined to play in several recent tournaments, including the Charles Schwab Challenge and the RBC Heritage. When the Memorial Tournament kicks off on July 16, it will have been five full months since Woods has made a shot in an official competition.
Tiger has been competing, though. In May he played in The Match: Champions for Charity, pairing up with Peyton Manning to beat the team of Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady. The Match raised $20 million for COVID-19 relief.
The Memorial Tournament, which is hosted by founder and golf legend Jack Nicklaus, was originally slated to take place with up to 8,000 socially distanced fans per day. On Monday, organizers announced that the tournament would go forward without fans.