Tiger Woods came back to golf at the 2017 Hero World Challenge, and there were some questions out there about Tiger Woods' PGA Tour exemption, as well how long Woods is exempt in the majors, World Golf Championships and The Players. We wanted to clear up those questions
What is Tiger Woods' PGA Tour exemption status?
Tiger Woods has lifetime status on the PGA Tour, but his win in the 2018 Tour Championship improved his status in terms of PGA Tour priority order, which determines many of the Tour's fields. When he won the 2019 Masters, Woods rocketed into the top priority category available to him, and he will be in that category for five seasons after the 2018-19 season.
Can Tiger Woods lose his PGA Tour Card?
No, if a player has 20 or more PGA Tour wins, they're not only exempt for life, but they have their own exemption category (18th in the pecking order). If for some reason Woods doesn't win ever again, his status for winning the Masters would expire after the 2023-2024 PGA Tour season. The category for lifetime members is No. 18. In between are all kinds of other categories, for major winners, WGC winners, PGA Tour winners, the top 125 in the FedEx Cup, lifetime money list exemption players, etc.
What's Tiger Woods' status for the majors?
- Masters: As a past winner (actually, four times), he can play pretty much for life.
- U.S. Open: Woods' 10-year exemption as the 2008 winner ran through 2018, but he's exempt through 2023 now as the 2019 Masters Champion
- Open Championship: Open champions can play until they're 60 without problem.
- PGA Championship: PGA champions can play pretty much forever.
What's Tiger Woods' status for the World Golf Championships?
- Mexico Championship: Must be inside the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking or get in the top 10 in FedEx Cup points before the event
- Match Play Championship: Must be inside the top 64 in the Official World Golf Ranking before the event
- FedEx St. Jude Invitational: Must be inside the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking before the event or win a PGA Tour event with world-ranking value of higher than 115 (basically any event)
- HSBC Champions: This event has a ton of convoluted criteria, but getting into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking is good enough
What's Tiger Woods' status for The Players Championship:
As the 2019 winner, Woods is in for five years from his win, so through 2023.