Tiger Woods needed a miracle on the weekend to earn a berth into next week’s PGA Tour season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta.
That miracle never materialized at the 2019 BMW Championship over the weekend, and that mean Tiger Woods will not finish in the FedEx Cup top 30 and qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs finale at East Lake Golf Club.
After an encouraging Saturday 5-under 67, Woods needed to go even lower on Sunday at Medinah Country Club’s No. 3 course to finish inside the top 11 of the BMW Championship and earn enough FedEx Cup points. However, after a closing even-par 72, Woods was on 7-under 281 and at least a half-dozen shots behind where he needed to be to get into the top 30.
Woods won’t be able to defend his Tour Championship title or have a chance to capture a third FedEx Cup, and his season is over.
It’s impossible to call Woods’ season anything other than a huge success. After all, he won the Masters in April for his fifth green jacket and 15th major title. It was his first major in nearly 11 years. Everything else was secondary, and after April, Woods kind of played that way.
Woods was unprepared for the PGA Championship and missed the cut playing alongside world No. 1 Brooks Koepka, who bludgeoned the Masters champion at Bethpage Black en route to a fourth-career major title and a successful title defense.
In June at the US Open, Woods played well from tee-to-green but couldn’t get anything going. On Sunday, Woods went from indifferent in the first six holes at Pebble Beach to playing the final 12 in 6 under to secure a top-20 finish.
Overall, Woods made 12 PGA Tour starts on the season — a scant total by any measure, designed by the world No. 6 to prolong his career and prevent Tiger Woods’ retirement. However, he posted four top-10 finishes, including the Masters win. He missed cuts at the PGA Championship and British Open Championship, where he looked out of sorts and affected by his finnicky back.
Before Woods embarks on a 2020 campaign, the Tiger Woods 2019 schedule rolls on in October, in a new PGA Tour season, when he competes in the inaugural Zozo Championship in Japan. He’ll take on a made-for-TV skins game in Japan as well, alongside Hideki Matsuyama, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day.
Then we likely won’t see Woods again until the Hero World Challenge in November in the Bahamas. The 18-man invitational event will finish on Saturday so Woods, the 2019 US Presidents Cup captain, and his players competing at Albany Golf Club can fly around the world to Australia, site of the matches at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
As Woods prepares for a new year this fall, he’ll have to work most critically on his game inside 150 yards. His wedge play has been atrocious this season on the PGA Tour, exposed particularly in the majors as needing improvement. Woods also needs to find some magic with the putter, which has been an on-again-off-again problem for Woods dating back to 2012. When both are clicking, Woods is still among the best in the world. When they’re not, he’s not quite up to the highest standard.