By Daniel Rapaport
Sometimes a yacht cruising up the coast is just a yacht cruising up the coast.
Despite widespread speculation that Tiger Woods would play in next week’s RBC Heritage—stemming from his yacht Privacy being tracked to St. Simons Island, Ga., relatively close to Hilton Head, S.C., the site of the Heritage—the 15-time major champion did not register before the 5 p.m. Friday deadline and thus will not be making his return to the PGA Tour at Harbour Town.
Woods has not played an official tour event since February, where he finished last among players who made the cut at the Genesis Invitational. He then skipped the next four tournaments, including the Players Championship, to rest a sore back. Then, of course, the coronavirus pandemic forced a nearly three-month stoppage.
Woods has made just three official starts on tour during the 2019-’20 season—a victory at the Zozo Championship, a T-9 at the Farmers Insurance Open and his 68th-place finish at the Genesis. He is currently ranked No. 11 in the World Rankings.
Fans did get a chance to watch Woods play when he and Peyton Manning teamed up last month to beat Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady in The Match: Champions for Charity, which raised more than $20 million for COVID-19 relief. Woods looked healthy and played rather well in that exhibition, leading many to wonder if that would lead him to return to action in one of the early events on the revised tour schedule, despite the fact he has not played at Colonial since 1997 and at Harbour Town since 1999.
Where Woods will indeed make his return remains a mystery. He is a five-time winner of the Memorial Tournament, which he has never missed when healthy enough to play. That event, which is hosted by Jack Nicklaus, is scheduled for July 16-19 at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio. Muirfield Village also will host another PGA Tour event the week before, perhaps affording Tiger another spot to resume his season.
Whenever Woods does tee it up next, it will give him another chance to win his 83rd PGA Tour event and break a tie with Sam Snead for the most all-time victories.