Tiger Woods Begins Quest For 16th Major Thursday Morning At Southern Hills

Tiger Woods tees off alongside Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth at 9:11 a.m. ET on Thursday in Round 1 of the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Tiger Woods’ quest for his 16th Major championship begins Thursday, as he sets his sights on the 2022 PGA Championship.

It’ll be just the second PGA Tour event that Woods will have played in this season, after making his return at the 2022 Masters Tournament last month. A hobbled Woods labored his way through four rounds at Augusta National, making the cut and finishing 47th.

TIGER, RORY, SPIETH HEADLINE FEATURED GROUPS AT PGA CHAMPIONSHIP

Expectations were low then, but now, they’re raised, with Woods feeling lightyears better than what he did a month ago. Woods said this week that he only took one day off after the Masters and has since been using the past six weeks to prepare his body for the rigors of Southern Hills Country Club.

“I feel like I can, definitely,” Woods said Tuesday when asked if he believes he can win. “I just have to go out there and do it. I have to do my work. Starts on Thursday and I’ll be ready.”

Woods, 46, is no stranger to Southern Hills, having won his last PGA Championship at that very course in 2007. That was a different Woods, one with considerably less injury history and firmly in his prime.

FanDuel Sportsbook would tell you that a Woods win would be just short of a miracle, as he enters Thursday with his lowest ever odds to win a Major at 70-1. Now compare that to the Woods we saw from 1997-2013, where he was favored in 58-of-64 Major events.

OutKick’s Dr. David Chao wrote in his Wednesday column that there’s no way for Woods to be 100% this weekend and said it remains dubious that he can contend.

DAVID CHAO, MD: TIGER HAS WON PGA IN TULSA BEFORE, WILL HIS ANKLE ALLOW HIM TO WIN AGAIN?

“Expect his greatness to shine early and to fade as the steps pile up,” Chao wrote. “In any case, it is great to have Tiger back, even if just for the Majors.”

Indeed it is great to see Woods out there, just as it was at the Masters. His presence at this year’s tournament is perhaps a welcome distraction to the ongoing saga between Phil Mickelson and the PGA Tour.

It was just last year where the sport rallied behind a 50-year-old Mickelson and cheered him on as he became the oldest Major winner in the history of the PGA Tour at this very event. But he’s not here, opting not to defend his crown as he remains on his leave of absence following his controversial statements surrounding the LIV Golf Invitational Series.

An absent Mickelson means there will not be another installment of the rivalry between he and Woods, but rather an even bigger spotlight placed on golf’s most popular superstar. So much so, the world’s No. 1 player, Scottie Scheffler, almost feels like an afterthought. The Masters winner is going for his fifth win on Tour since February, but even he takes a backseat to Woods this weekend.

“Tiger’s here so nobody really remembers that I’m here, so it’s all good,” Scheffler said this week.

Scheffler remains the co-favorite to win at +1200, alongside world No. 2 Jon Rahm.


Follow Nick Geddes on Twitter @NickGeddesNews and on Instagram @nick.geddes.  

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Written by Nick Geddes

Nick is a 2021 graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in political science. Nick is a life-long sports fan who is proud to say he suffered through 15 years of Bucs futility to witness a Super Bowl victory in 2020. Nick has a passion for writing and is proud to represent OutKick. Follow me on Twitter @NickGeddesNews and on Instagram @nick.geddes.

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