Tiger Woods confirmed Thursday that he will play in next weekend’s Memorial at Muirfield Village in Ohio, a tournament he’s won five times.
Woods missed the cut at last weekend’s PGA Championship, his first tournament after his Masters triumph five weeks earlier. The Memorial will serve as Woods’s warm-up for the U.S. Open, which takes place two weeks later at Pebble Beach.
Woods won three straight Memorials from 1999 to 2001 and then again in 2009 and 2012, adding three other top 10 finishes at the tournament created by Jack Nicklaus in 1976. But he also shot an 85, his highest single-round score ever, at the 2015 Memorial, when he was battling the back pain that would eventually sideline him for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Last year, he finished in a tie for 23rd.
A championship at the Memorial would be Woods’s 82nd PGA Tour victory, tying Sam Snead’s career record.
Woods didn’t play a competitive round between the Masters and the PGA Championship and barely practiced for the latter at Bethpage Black. The rust was evident: He finished at 5 over par through 36 holes, 17 strokes behind playing partner and eventual champion Brooks Koepka, and missed the cut by one stroke.
“There’s no reason why I can’t get up to speed again and crank it back up,” Woods said after his second-round 73 on Friday. “I’ve got to start feeling a little bit better first before that happens. We’ll do that first and then start cranking it back up again. I just wasn’t moving the way I needed to. That’s the way it goes. There’s going to be days and weeks where it’s just not going to work, and today was one of those days.”