Tiger Woods Playing in Memorial Is Perfect Tuneup For U.S. Open


The last time we saw Tiger Woods on the golf course at the PGA Championship, he looked like a man who hadn’t played competitive golf in five weeks… Which is exactly what happened after his Masters victory. He took time off to enjoy his 15th major, didn’t play in a pro tournament, shot 72-73 at Bethpage Black and missed the cut thanks to some shabby putting.

Well, lesson learned. Tiger will tee it off at the Memorial Tournament just two weeks ahead of Pebble Beach, which is the perfect prepper for the challenge of winning his second major this year. After all, in order to win a major, you need confidence heading in there, and Woods should build plenty of it at Memorial.

Woods has won this tournament five times, has eight top-10 finishes in his 16 appearances and has never missed the cut in the Memorial. He also hit one of the most memorable flop shots of his career there.

With the exception of the eagle he made during round one, Woods didn’t have many highlights like that at the PGA Championship. He hit only 58.3% of greens in regulation and was -.716 in strokes gained putting. Overall his putting stroke was off, especially on shorter putts inside 8 feet. At the U.S. Open, players face a lot of those types of putts, and they’re critical to convert. Watch closely if Woods makes those at the Memorial. It could be indicative of what happens two weeks later.

Tiger Mania returned after his Masters win and he was the betting favorite on some sites coming into the PGA Championship despite taking all that time off. Brooks Koepka, the two-time defending U.S. Open champ, is the prohibitive favorite to win his third straight title, and rightfully so. But if Tiger has a good week at the Memorial, a 50-50 probability based on his history, watch out. A confident Tiger Woods is a dangerous Tiger Woods.