Tiger Woods joined the Northern Trust next week, the first of three FedEx Cup playoff events that will conclude the 2019-20 season of the PGA Tour.
Although his commitment was expected, Woods waited until the last day of Friday to announce his intention to play at TPC Boston in the second year of a system that sees the event rotate between the New York area and Boston.
It will only be the sixth event this season for Woods. He won the Zozo Championship in October, the only reason he qualified for the playoffs and possibly the second event, the BMW Championship, at Olympia Fields Country Club outside Chicago.
Woods came out of a draw for 37th at the PGA Championship, followed by a draw for 40th at the Memorial Tournament three weeks earlier. He is projected to 50th in the FedEx Cup points standings. Even with points tripling in the first two playoff events (down from quadrupling due to the shortened season during the coronavirus pandemic), Woods needs a couple of high places. to advance to the Atlanta Tour Championship, reserved for the first 30 employee points.
The top 70 players following the Northern Trust advance to the BMW championship.
With 604 points (he earned 500 by winning the Zozo), Woods is 234 points from the expected thirtieth position. This means that at the very least he would need a ninth place at the Northern Trust to make it into the top 30 – and that without anyone else moving up from that number.
Obviously, a win – worth 1,500 points – would almost secure Woods a spot in Atlanta and allow him to take a week off for BMW.
At the very least, Woods would likely want to play two weeks during this period to enter the necessary competitive rounds before the US Open, which has been rescheduled for September 17-20. If Woods plays all three playoff events, think about four tournaments in five weeks.
The Northern Trust is expected to present each of the 125 players who qualified from the FedEx Cup points list.