Boston: Two-time FedExCup champion Tiger Woods tees up this week at the Par-71 TPC Boston in search of record-breaking 83rd PGA TOUR victory.
It is only his third start since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, but Woods has thrived at the TPC Boston, which was where his foundation was from 2003 to 2007.
Woods also has a great record at TPC Boston, and in 10 starts, his scoring average is 68.30. That includes one win, two tied second places and another Top-10. That kind of average could see him contend yet again, despite the presence of in-form stars and young guns.
Meanwhile, Brooks Koepka has pulled out of the Northern Trust Open because of a hip injury, which also ends his season.
Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa and Webb Simpson take the top billing while Woods is paired with Dylan Frittelli and Matthew Fitzpatrick. World No. 1 Jon Rahm goes out with Xander Schauffele and Lanto Griffin.
Bryson DeChambeau plays with Patrick Reed. In 2018, DeChambeau became the youngest winner of The Northern Trust during the FedExCup era and went on to win the Championship at TPC Boston in his next start.
The defending champion at the $9.5 million event is Reed, but Woods will be in major focus. He has a packed schedule from here on. It is three events till the Tour Championship, assuming he qualifies for that. Then there is the Masters and US Open besides the World Challenge in December first week, making it a total of at least six starts, plus possibly one between the playoffs at the two Majors.
This season Woods has played only two events since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Memorial and then the PGA Championship.
Woods, currently 16th in world rankings, is tied with Sam Snead at 82 PGA Tour wins. He won the FedExCup in 2007 and 2009 and overall has four wins during the FedExCup playoffs.
Among the players who will be watched closely are World No. 2 Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Woods, McIlroy and Dustin Johnson.
Due to schedule changes related to COVID-19, FedExCup points available during the three playoffs events have been reduced from four times standard regular season events to three times. The winner receives 1,500 points.