Tiger Woods not likely to play in Detroit; U.S. Open champ Gary Woodland will
Detroit — It's not an official "no," but it's pretty darn close.
Tiger Woods on Sunday night strongly suggested he won't play again before the British Open, meaning he's very unlikely to tee it up in the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic later this month.
Rocket Mortgage Classic officials had been cautiously optimistic about getting Woods to play in the first PGA Tour tournament in the city limits of Detroit.
"I think I'm going to take a little bit of time off and enjoy some family time," Woods said following his final round at the U.S. Open.
Woods, 43, has limited his schedule in an effort to remain healthy following a litany of back surgeries over the years. The U.S. Open was his ninth tournament of this year.
Some speculated that if Woods did play between the U.S. Open and British Open, it would either be in Detroit from June 27-30 or in suburban Minneapolis, the site of another inaugural tournament, the following week.
Detroit seemed to have an edge given Woods' connection to Quicken Loans, which sponsored his tournament in suburban Washington, D.C., the last five years.
Woods also has a history of playing well in Michigan, having won the old Buick Open three times, including the tournament's last year in 2009.
Jason Langwell, executive director for the Rocket Mortgage Classic, has joked he tried to recruit Woods by suggesting he come defend his "state title."
Woods, historically, has played in at least one tournament between majors, but he altered that earlier this year when he didn't play between the Masters, which he won, and the PGA Championship. That plan seemed to backfire, as he missed the cut at the PGA, leading many to believe he might not go that route again. Now, it seems he will. Asked whether he'll play before the British, he quipped, "I'll play at home, yeah."
Missing out on Woods, you would think, would hinder the ticket sales, though tournament officials have reported good sales since tickets became available March 13. Saturday tickets now are sold out. Hospitality tents sold out in a hurry, a good sign.
The field for the tournament at Detroit Golf Club has its share of big names, including world No. 2 Dustin Johnson, world No. 9 Xander Schauffele and world No. 12 Gary Woodland, who just won the U.S. Open. Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson and Hideki Matsuyama also are on the field, which has more than 100 commitments.
Several more commitments should be coming in soon, with the deadline to enter the tournament set for Friday.