DORAL (CBSMiami) – He’s still the biggest draw on the PGA Tour, but age and injuries seem to be getting the best of Tiger Woods ahead of the Cadillac Championship in Doral this week.
Tiger is still the number one player in the world, but his game was all over the map during the Honda Classic over the weekend. He shot a 65 on Saturday before having to withdraw due to a back injury on Sunday.
The injury has led to speculation he won’t be able to go at the Cadillac Championship at the Trump Doral. Woods would be the tournament’s biggest draw at least for the days he played. So far this year, Tiger has missed the cut at Torrey Pines and withdrew from the Honda Classic.
A number of golfers playing in the tournament spent Monday in Doral practicing and getting used to the course. Dawie Van der Walt, who will play in the tournament for the first time, didn’t want to speculate about Woods.
“ I don’t know how bad it is, but from past experience back injuries don’t really heal overnight. You need to take some time off, so we’ll see how bad it is,” Van der Walt said.
Tiger Woods is the defending champion at Doral
“He is one of the world’s most recognizable athletes, so we’re really hoping that he’ll be here with us for Cadillac championship,” said Eddie Carbone, the Director of the Cadillac Championship.
Event organizers promise a weekend of entertainment with a fashion show, concert, and a focus on food. They believe attendance will be strong with or without Tiger Woods.
“On the weekend we’ll have probably more than 25,000 people here,” said Carbone, adding he expects the tournament to pour $40 million into Miami-Dade County.
Officially, Woods has said he will wait until Thursday, the first day of the Cadillac Championship, to decide if he will play at the annual tournament in Doral.
If Woods can’t go, or finishes outside the top seven, and Adam Scott wins the Cadillac Championship; Tiger would no longer be ranked as the number one golfer in the world. According to the Golf Channel, Scott needs a minimum of 60 points to pass Woods in the rankings.
But, Woods is also a four-time winner at Doral including last year’s Cadillac Championship. Scott has played Doral eight times and has finished in the top 10 just three times, but did finish tied for third last year.
Still, for Woods, the first major is just over a month away. For most golfers, every path from here until the first week of April is preparing for the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club. Woods hasn’t won a major in five years and he said last week that all he is thinking about is getting to Augusta.
But before you count Tiger out just yet, the last time he quit in the middle of a round due to an injury, he won the next tournament. He then followed that up with his highest score ever at the Masters.
The only thing fans want to see at Doral is Tiger stalking the course on Sunday in his signature red Nike shirt. “I’m hoping that he’ll come we always like to see him he’s great,” said Annette Berry who is attending the tournament. “I’d like to see him. I think anyone would like to see Tiger Woods,” added Jeffrey Sens.
But Dawie Van der Walt says he won’t be heartbroken if Tiger Woods doesn’t show.
“I’ve only played in a field where he played once in Dubai and I beat him, so I’m 1-0 against Tiger, so the less I play against him the longer my record will last,” he joked.
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