The 2022 U.S. Open won’t be golf’s biggest draw.
Tiger Woods made his triumphant return at the Masters on April 7. This is his first PGA Tour event since recovering from a crash in February 2021. Woods has said the crash will ensure he never plays a full PGA Tour schedule again — but it doesn’t permanently exclude him.
Instead, Tiger will be more selective about the races he plays, essentially limiting them to “big events.” This presumably includes the four major championships — the Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open and British Open — as well as other popular events.
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Woods has only played two events so far in the 2021-22 PGA Tour season: the Masters, where he finished 47th, and the PGA Championship. He was forced out of the latter after suffering from surgically repaired leg pain and combing through the worst round of his career.
With that, Sports News looked into why Tiger won’t play at the 2022 U.S. Open, his history in the tournament and when he plans to return.
Will Tiger Woods play at the 2022 U.S. Open?
Tiger won’t play in the 2022 U.S. Open even after limiting himself to the PGA Tour’s biggest event.
He announced this on June 7, saying he needed more time to get physically strong enough to compete in big events.
I have previously notified the USGA that I will not be participating @usopengolf Because my body needs more time to get stronger for Grand Slam golf.I do hope and plan to be ready to play in Ireland @JPProAm and in @TheOpen next month. I’m so excited to be back there soon!
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) June 7, 2022
It’s the new normal for Tiger, and his recovery from golf will be tougher considering he will need extensive surgery following his February 2021 crash. Woods caught a glimpse of the Masters and walked noticeably with a limp.
After his first round at Augusta, he shed light on how he’s trying to recover.
“A lot of treatments. A lot of ice. A lot of ice baths. Basically freezing myself to death,” Woods said. “It’s just part of the deal. Get all the swelling off as much as you can and let it move, warm up, activate and explode the next day. Those are two completely different ends of the spectrum.
“Most sports, if you’re not feeling well, you have teammates who can pass it on to teammates and they can take responsibility. Or in football, one day a week. We’ve had four days in a row, ‘No one can but me’ bear it. I have to figure out a way. “
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Woods’ injury was even more pronounced at the PGA Championship. He made the cut in Tulsa, but then shot the second-worst round of his career in the third round, tying for last at 12-over.
Tiger withdrew from meaningful play and experienced leg pain, and he opted out.
“I just can’t load it. It hurts to load. It hurts to press. It hurts to walk. It hurts to twist,” Woods said (via Tulsa World’s Eric Bailey). “It’s just golf. If I don’t, I’ll be fine.”
MORE: Woods accident timeline: How he made a remarkable recovery
When is Tiger Woods’ next game?
In announcing his decision not to play at the U.S. Open, Woods reiterated his intention to play the JP McManus Pro-Am on July 4-5 and the British Open July 14-17.
JP McManus Pro-Am is not an official PGA Tour event. JP McManus, who hosts the charity tournament, issued a statement on April 14 confirming Tiger’s interest in the event:
Tiger has been a great friend and ardent supporter of the Pro/Am for a long time, and we are very pleased that he has committed to the event again. His presence at Adair Manor will no doubt bring great excitement to thousands of viewers and we are very grateful that he gave up his free time with us.
We would also like to thank all of our players, DP World Tour, volunteers and ticket cap holders for their continued support of the event as we work to raise vital funds for charities in the region.
On April 10, Woods committed to the British Open in St Andrews, Scotland.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 10, 2022
Tiger Woods’ U.S. Open History
Woods’ status as one of the most successful golfers in U.S. Open history remains intact, even after he decided not to play in the 2022 tournament.
He won three US Open titles in 2000, 2002 and 2008. He is tied with Hale Irving for the second U.S. Open title behind Willie Anderson, Bobby Jones and Jack Nicklaus, who have four each.
He also holds the record for the biggest win: 15 in 2000. This record represents all majors on the PGA Tour.
Woods has failed to make the cut in three of his past four U.S. Opens, last in the top 10 in 2010, when he was tied for fourth at 3 over.