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‘That, I do not know’: Tiger Woods faces US Open conundrum

Tiger Woods finds himself in territory he’s not visited in 27 years as he is currently ineligible to play in the 2024 US Open…

 

Tiger Woods isn’t exempt for a major for the first time since 1996.

Bob Harig of Sports Illustrated was the first to note Woods wasn’t eligible to play in the 2024 US Open at Pinehurst.

His remarkable win at the 2019 Masters, his 15th major, extended his stay at America’s national championship until 2023, but not beyond.

Woods isn’t exactly sure what he’ll do to make the field in North Carolina next June – a field he’s played in once in four years.

“That, I do not know. I don’t know what’s happened or what Jack (Nicklaus), what happened over his career, or Tom (Watson) or anybody else,” Woods said at the PNC Championship.

“But as of right now, no, I’m not in, and whether or not I have to formally ask them or they invite me, or you give me an exemption or I have to go qualify, you know, who knows.

“I don’t know what the process is.”

You need to go back to when Mark Brooks won the PGA Championship to find the last time Woods didn’t merit a spot at a major event.

tiger woods us open

Tiger Woods: US Open eligibility could still be on the table

But as with many legendary figures before him, the 47-year-old could likely earn a special exemption to compete at a tournament he’s won three times.

Phil Mickelson was the last player to receive a special exemption to play in the US Open in 2021, while Jack Nicklaus was given eight of them and Arnold Palmer was given five.

Woods wants to play once a month on the PGA Tour in 2024, but this would almost certainly not be enough to propel him up the Official World Golf Ranking to earn a spot without going through other means.

However, Woods left the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club on Sunday confident that he could win again, adding to the 82 PGA Tour victories he currently holds, tied with Sam Snead at the top of the pile.

“I think that given the fact that if I’m able to practise and do the things that I know I can do, and prepare, I know that I can still do it. I can still hit the golf ball,” he added.

“It’s just a matter of prepping and getting enough reps in and getting enough work in and being right physically, and endurance capability of it.

“I haven’t had the leg good enough where I’ve been able to compete and play a lot of rounds. I’ve had a lot of procedures over the years, and that’s just part of it.

“I know if I can practise, I know I can still do it. I can still hit the golf ball. I can still chip. I can still putt. Granted it’s also putting it all together for 72 holes. That’s the challenging part of it.”

NOW READ: Quiz: Can you name Tiger Woods’ 82 PGA Tour wins?

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