Tiger Woods is headed to Mexico. Big Cat is playing the WGC-Mexico Championship for the first time in his career, which is a little confusing considering he’s technically a seven-time winner of the event.
Woods, who didn’t qualify last year because of his world ranking, won the tournament in 1999 at Valderrama in Spain, in 2002 in Ireland, 2003 in Georgia, 2005 at Harding Park, 2006 in England and 2007 and 2013 at Doral in Florida. The event moved to Mexico in 2017, and Woods hasn’t played it since.
There was some question over whether Woods (or anyone, for that matter) would show up for this event because of where it falls on the schedule. Woods was always going to play the Genesis Open (widely considered a mainstay for many of the world’s best), and Mexico is sandwiched on the schedule between that and the Honda Classic in two weeks.
The Honda Classic is pertinent because of its proximity in Palm Beach Gardens to so many tour pros, including Woods. Following the Honda Classic are the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Players Championship, which Woods is almost certain to play. So you can see the logjam of this schedule and how it forces players into some awkward decisions.
Regardless, we’ll see Woods two weeks in a row for the first time since the FedEx Cup Playoffs last fall. He’ll give Riviera a go this week, where he missed the cut last year, and then head to Mexico, where he is unable to miss the cut. The WGC-Mexico Championship gives Woods some automatic OWGR and FedEx Cup points, which are tough to pass up when you’re automatically qualified for these events.
So while Woods heading to Mexico for an event might seem mildly odd at the outset because of what follows, it makes sense when you follow the points and the money. Such is life at the top of a new PGA Tour schedule and season.