As the 2020 schedule for the PGA tour tees off this summer following unforeseen circumstances from the coronavirus pandemic, some experts believe Tiger Woods may have time on his side to gear up for the upcoming majors after recent questions about his health.
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But Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee believes it may be a tougher comeback for Woods than most expect, with cold weather potentially playing against his age.
“I look at Tiger and I look at cold venues, potentially cold venues as being sort of problematic on an aging, injured or prone-to-injury back,” Chamblee told reporters ahead of the Charles Schwab Challenge.
Despite a late-summer calendar slot of Aug. 6-9 for the PGA Championship in sunny San Francisco, Chamblee believes the climate of TCP Harding Park will be one of the major factors that will work against Woods as temperatures in the city during the month of August typically hover in the high 50s and low 60s.
“You look at San Francisco [TPC Harding Park], again, it’s a cool place,” Chamblee said. “You’d like to think that Tiger is more [inclined] to play in places where it’s going to be a little warmer.”
Based on average temperatures for the three host venues, the U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York, will likely be the warmest to play in this fall during the week of Sept. 14-20, when temperatures there are usually in the 70s.
As for the Masters in Augusta, Georgia, which will run the week of Nov. 9-15, temperatures could get closer to the 40s in the early morning, putting Woods' chances more at risk.
While Chamblee believes the cold weather will present a challenge for Woods, he did note how impressed he was with the 44-year-old's swing, but he's not sure how much longer Woods' body can hold up.
“I look at the Tiger I saw at Zozo and I don’t know that I’ve ever seen him swing better than that,” Chamblee said. “But from a physical standpoint, it’s like his body is like a wet grocery bag filled with jugs of milk. You just never know when it’s going to burst.”
Woods last played on the PGA Tour at the Genesis Invitational in February, skipping out on The Players Championship to rest his back. On May 24, Woods played in The Match: Champions for Charity to raise money for COVID-19 relief efforts, where he and Peyton Manning defeated Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady at The Medalist in Hobe Sound, Florida.
Chamblee's comments come as the Charles Schwab Challenge, the first tournament back post-coronavirus, entered its second day Tuesday.