Tiger Woods is skipping this week’s World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational to focus on the PGA Championship, but his odds to win the major could slide because of his decision. The odds for Woods to win the PGA Championship, held Aug. 6-9 at Harding Park in San Francisco, have already been trending downward.
Woods was as low as 12/1 at some sportsbooks when the odds opened for the PGA Championship. Originally scheduled for May, the COVID-19 global pandemic forced the tournament to move to August, but Woods hasn’t exactly been a fixture on the PGA Tour since play resumed last month.
The 44-year-old played in three events in 2020. He finished tied for ninth at the Farmers Insurance Open in January, then followed that up two weeks later at the Genesis Invitational, where he finished 68th, last among golfers who made the cut.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) July 24, 2020
When the tour returned from a 12-week break, Woods decided to play in just one of six events, finishing tied for 40th at The Memorial Tournament a week ago.
Did Woods’ Decision Cause His PGA Championship Odds to Drop?
Because of his inactivity, and his most recent result, the odds for Woods to win the PGA Championship have dropped. Sportsbooks have been slowly lowering them, and his decision to skip this week’s FedEx St. Jude Invitational apparently isn’t helping.
In June, before Woods teed it up at the Memorial, his odds went from 12/1 to 14/1. They went to 16/1 a week later. After the Memorial, they dropped to 25/1.
It’s a stark contrast to last year, when Woods won the Masters and entered the 2019 PGA Championship as the 9/1 favorite. That was the last time Woods was the top pick at a major championship. He was the third choice at the US Open at 9/1, behind Brooks Koepka (8/1), and Dustin Johnson (7/1). He finished tied for 21st. At the Open Championship, he was the fifth pick at 18/1 behind Jon Rahm (14/1), Johnson (12/1), Koepka (10/1), and Rory McIlroy (8/1). Woods missed the cut.
Majors Preparation Following Pattern
It is not unusual for Woods to take the week off before a major championship. He didn’t play in an event before any of the majors last year. The last time he did play the week before a major was the 2018 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, which preceded the PGA Championship. He finished tied for 31st at the Bridgestone, and second at the PGA Championship.
Woods, who’s had four back surgeries and five knee surgeries over his career, didn’t give a specific reason for not attending this week’s WGC event. The tournament, played at TPC Southwind, is a no-cut affair and Woods would have had four rounds to help him prepare for the PGA Championship.
Woods says he has to plan his tournament golf carefully to protect his back. He does have an extensive practice facility in his Jupiter Island, Florida home that features a putting green, and an area where he can practice approach shots.