ROCHESTER: Tiger Woods was confirmed out for next week’s PGA Championship following right ankle surgery while injured Jordan Spieth, chasing a career Grand Slam, was on the entry list released Wednesday. The field of 156 for next week’s showdown at Oak Hill also includes 18 players from the Saudi-backed LIV Golf League, among them Masters runner-ups and multiple major winners Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka.
Woods, a 15-time major champion and a four-time PGA Championship winner, underwent his latest operation last month after withdrawing in the third round of the Masters. There is no timetable for the 47-year-old star’s return. The same is true for Spieth, a three-time major winner who needs the PGA Championship to join Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Gene Sarazen with at least one victory at each major. Spieth is questionable for the showdown at Oak Hill with a left wrist injury that made him skip his hometown PGA event this week in Dallas.
“I’m focused on healing as quickly as possible and will have to evaluate my recovery week to week,” 10th-ranked Spieth said, adding that doctors said his wrist needs rest and limited movement. Oak Hill, host of six prior majors as well as the 1995 Ryder Cup, will serve as a second major showcase this year for top PGA Tour players facing rivals from the upstart LIV series. Spain’s Jon Rahm won last month at Augusta National with Mickelson, a six-time major winner, and Koepka, a four-time major winner sharing second and another LIV standout, 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed, sharing fourth.
The breakaway circuit lured top talent from the PGA Tour, which banned LIV players from its events, although the majors allow LIV and PGA players to compete, turning them into the only places for bragging rights battles between the rivals in golf’s civil war. Other LIV players at Oak Hill next week will include major winners Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer and Australia’s Cam Smith, the reigning British Open champion. A final vacant spot in the PGA Championship field is reserved for this week’s PGA Byron Nelson tournament winner. —AFP