Tiger Woods has gone two years without a win, and his fall from the top of golf has been illustrated by his failure to qualify for the Tour Championship in 2010 for the first time in his career, and his failure this season to even reach the FedEx Cup playoffs, giving him a forced six-week break.
This week presents another first in the worst kind of way. Even though Woods had no intentions of playing the HSBC Champions, this is the first time he has not been eligible to play a World Golf Championship. This from a player who won 15 of the WGC events.
Woods slipped to No. 56 in the world ranking this week. He has only two tournaments left this year, then as many as two events next year to make sure he doesn’t miss another WGC.
Only the top 64 in the world ranking get to the Match Play Championship.
STILL FOLLOWING A DREAM: After spending nearly a decade as a caddie, one tough year wasn’t enough to keep Brett Waldman from another shot at trying to make it as a player.
Waldman gave up his job as the caddie for Camilo Villegas last year when he made it to the final stage of Q-school, giving him status on the Nationwide Tour. It didn’t quite turn out the way he had hoped. After making the cut in his debut in Panama, Waldman went six months and 14 tournaments before making another check.
He finished his first year at No. 193 on the Nationwide Tour money list with $6,958 – about half of what he used to earn in one week as the caddie for Villegas.
“When I was missing all those cuts in a row, I definitely was missing caddying,” Waldman said from his home near Dallas.
He decided to start over, and a bogey-free round of 68 in the final round two weeks ago was enough to make it out of the first stage of Q-school. He returns to the TPC Craig Ranch in two weeks for the second stage.
TRIFECTA: Tom Lehman will have a chance this week to be the first player to be named player of the year on the Nationwide Tour, PGA Tour and Champions Tour.