After much speculation, it looks like Tiger Woods won’t begin his 2019 season in Hawaii after all.
Though he still has until Friday afternoon to commit to the winners-only Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua’s Plantation course on the Hawaiian island of Maui next week, sources close to Tiger have indicated that he will not attend, according to Bob Harig of ESPN.
Woods qualified for the event by winning the Tour Championship in September — his first victory since 2013.
The win at East Lake capped an epic comeback season for Woods, who returned to competitive play at the 2017 Hero World Challenge, after a 10-month layoff following spinal fusion surgery.
Expectations were muted for Tiger’s 2018 season, but he played a full schedule of 18 events, in addition to the Ryder Cup and his pay-per-view match against Phil Mickelson.
Throughout the year, Woods missed only two cuts and finished in the top 10 seven times. He had two runner-up finishes, and seriously contended in two major championships.
Woods traditionally makes his season debut at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines — a course where he’s won eight times in his career. His last victory there was nearly six years ago, at the 2013 Farmers Insurance Open.
Woods has also had an excellent record at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. In eight appearances, his worst finish is a tie for 10th (2002). He’s won twice (1997 and 2000) and finished runner-up once (1998). In his last appearance in 2005, he finished T3.
“I’m not going to play as many [events] as I did this year,” Woods told ESPN at this year’s Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. “I played in too many this year, and that was from adding an event because I missed the cut at [the Genesis Open] to qualifying to get into Akron [the Bridgestone Invitational]. Who knew that I could make it through all the playoff events? So all those events took a toll. I won’t be playing as much as I did [in 2018].”
The Sentry Tournament of Champions begins on Jan. 3, while the Farmers Insurance Open begins on Jan. 24.