Saturday, May 28, 2016

Tiger Woods not playing in Memorial Tournament; U.S. Open in doubt

Tiger Woods isn't coming back to competitive golf -- at least not next week.

Woods did not enter the PGA Tour's Memorial Tournament ahead of the Friday deadline, meaning he won't play in a tournament he has won five times. However, that doesn't mean the tournament wasn't on Woods' radar. Reuters had previously reported Woods had booked accommodations in the Dublin, Ohio, area for the tournament. ESPN analyst Andy North said Friday Woods gave strong consideration to competing in the event, ultimately deciding against entering later in the day.

The 14-time winner actually had an extended window on Friday night to enter the event at Muirfield Village. PGA Tour regulations allow a player 30 minutes after second-round play concludes -- or is called -- on Friday to commit to the next week's event. With weather delays plaguing pace in Texas at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational, Woods had until well past 9 p.m. Eastern to make that call.

Now, the question is if Woods feels well enough to make the U.S. Open his first start since last August, following a pair of back surgeries in fall 2015. Woods entered the tournament, well ahead of the deadline, on Monday of Masters Week in what can only be called an act of clerical preparation. The U.S. Open will be played at Oakmont Country Club near Pittsburgh, one of the country's most difficult courses. However, Woods finished a shot out of a playoff with eventual winner Angel Cabrera when the Open was last contested there in 2007.

Woods and his agent Mark Steinberg have indicated, as recently as May 16, that there is no definitive timetable for his return. In his last public exhibition on that date at Quicken Loans National media day, Woods put three balls in a guarding water hazard on a 103-yard shot on the par-3 10th at host Congressional Country Club.

Although Woods won't be in the 120-player field at Memorial, world No. 1 Jason Day and world No. 3 Rory McIlroy will participate.


Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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