(Reuters) – Tiger Woods said on Thursday he might have been better off skipping last week’s opening event of the PGA Tour playoffs to ensure he is not running on empty at next month’s Ryder Cup.
In the midst of his first stretch of three consecutive tournaments this year, Woods was not consistently sharp last week as he finished among the also-rans at the Northern Trust, which was won by Bryson DeChambeau in New Jersey.
After a couple of days off, Woods has rebooted for the Dell Technologies Championship starting in Massachusetts on Friday.
“It’s a long stretch if you have Ryder Cup on the backside,” he said on the eve of the TPC Boston tournament. “Some of the guys who skipped last week, it might have been a smart move.”
He was referring specifically to Europeans Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson.
The Ryder Cup takes place in Paris from Sept. 28-30 and it will complete an extremely busy stretch for Woods and most of the other players on the U.S. and European teams.
Woods is technically not on the Ryder Cup team yet but few doubt that Jim Furyk will take him as one of four captain’s picks to complete the American roster.
The PGA Tour has built a bye week into the playoffs after next week’s BMW Championship to give players a short rest before the season-ending Tour Championship and then the Ryder Cup.
“My golf is not going to be much if anything post-Ryder Cup,” said Woods. “We’re just pushing it to that point and then shutting it down. I’m just trying to get to that point so that when I shut it down I’ll be able to shut it down.”
He is nearing the end of his first season since a spinal fusion last year that rectified a chronic back injury and gave him a chance to pen a final chapter in a distinguished career.
Still seeking that elusive win, the 14-times major champion goes into the Dell Technologies Championship ranked 25th in the FedExCup standings, assured of being among the top 70 who will advance to next week’s BMW Championship outside Philadelphia.
American DeChambeau jumped from ninth to first in the FedExCup standings with his Northern Trust victory, in the process all but securing a Ryder Cup captain’s pick.
Woods expressed enthusiasm at the prospect of partnering DeChambeau in Paris.
“He and I playing together would be fantastic. He’s competitive, fiery, he’s got all the things you want when you play a team match.”
Physics major DeChambeau brings an analytical style to the game, while Woods is more, in his own words, feel-oriented.
“We think about the game differently … but for some reason we get along great and we work,” Woods said. “I understand what he’s saying and he understands what I’m saying.”
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ken Ferris)