Tiger to miss own tour­ney

Re­cov­er­ing

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­press.co.za

For the first time in eight years, Tiger Woods will be forced to watch his own tour­na­ment, the Quick­ens Loans Na­tional, when it tees off at the Con­gres­sional Coun­try Club in Bethesda, Mary­land, on Thurs­day. The for­mer world num­ber one, whose foun­da­tion is in charge of the PGA Tour event, re­mains ab­sent from the tour while re­cov­er­ing from the back surgery he un­der­went in Septem­ber.

Woods last fea­tured in the same con­test last year at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Vir­ginia, and fin­ished tied 18th. He fea­tured in 2014, but missed the cut.

Writ­ing on his web­site this week, Woods said that, while he con­tin­ued to work hard on get­ting healthy, he was phys­i­cally not yet ready to play in this year’s event.

“I’m mak­ing progress, but I’m not yet ready for tour­na­ment com­pe­ti­tion,” said the win­ner of the 2009 and 2012 edi­tions.

No South African has won the show­piece that has been dom­i­nated by Amer­i­cans since it started in 2007 (see box).

Ernie Els and Retief Goosen fin­ished joint 46th last year. This year’s field has not yet been an­nounced.

The 2016 edi­tion of the com­pe­ti­tion has to­tal prize money worth $6.9 mil­lion (R105.2 mil­lion), and the win­ner will walk away with a whop­ping R18.3 mil­lion.

Last year, Amer­i­can Troy Mer­ritt shot a 4-un­der 67 and fin­ished his first ca­reer vic­tory in 96 starts with a flour­ish, rolling in a 10m putt for a birdie on the fi­nal hole.

Af­ter the putt fell, he raised his hands, looked

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