As the 2008 U.S. Open champion, Tiger Woods was exempt from qualifying for this year’s event at Oakmont. But Woods, who has yet to compete this season as he recovers from two back surgeries last year, still needed to register for the tournament.
And according to Golfweek’s Alex Miceli, he has, submitting his registration on April 4, well ahead of Wednesday’s deadline.
That doesn’t mean Woods will make his 2016 debut at the Open, to be held June 16-19. Most observers think the 14-time major winner instead will show up at one of three Open warmups: The Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow (May 5-8), the Players Championship (May 12-15) or the Memorial (June 2-5). Miceli thinks the “smart money” is on the Memorial, an event Woods has won five times, most recently in 2012.
Last week, the Golf Channel’s Tim Rosaforte reported that Woods has been “involved in a series of four-to-five-hour practice sessions at Medalist Golf Club … including the playing of some holes” and that he “looked great, was talking to everybody in an upbeat mood, couldn’t have been happier.”
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Woods last played in a PGA Tour event last August and hasn’t won since the 2013 Bridgestone Invitational.
Rosaforte doubled down on his speculative time frame over the weekend, getting a comment from Woods’s agent that there’s not timetable to speak of.
Seeing as how most U.S. Open courses can at their kindest be described as “diabolical,” it wouldn’t make much sense for Woods to show up cold to Oakmont and expect to do well, though he did tie for second at the 2007 U.S. Open, finishing a shot behind Angel Cabrera.