The mild oblique strain that Tiger Woods cited when he withdrew after one round of FedEx Cup playoffs was feeling good enough that he flew to the Chicago area Tuesday to give it a try in the BMW Championship.
Woods arrived mid-afternoon, did some media with partner Golf TV, had treatment and then headed to the putting green.
He won the PGA Championship twice at Medinah, in 1999 and 2006. His last event here was the 2012 Ryder Cup, where he and Steve Stricker lost all three of their matches, and Woods halved with Francesco Molinari in a singles match that gave Europe an outright victory.
At stake this week is a chance to return to East Lake, where he won last year for the first piece of his comeback from four back surgeries. Having to withdraw last week did not help the cause. By earning no points — at a time when points count four times as much — Woods slipped from No. 28 to No. 38 in the FedEx Cup.
Only the top 30 advance to the Tour Championship next week at East Lake.
The PGA Tour is projecting that Woods will need to finish 11th to have a realistic chance of advancing, but that will depend on what everyone else does, particularly those behind him in the standings. A week ago, Patrick Reed went from No. 50 to No. 2 by winning at Liberty National, while Harold Varner III went from No. 102 all the way to No. 29 with a two-way tie for third.
Woods has one other involvement this week, though it’s tough to think this is a priority of his. As captain of the U.S. team for the Presidents Cup, this is the final week for players to earn one of the eight automatic spots.
Reed moved from No. 17 to No. 12 and would have to win to have any chance of getting one of the eight spots. Patrick Cantlay is holding down the eighth spot over U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland, though Woodland likely would need something around fifth place to get past him, depending on what Cantlay does.
Woods is No. 13 and even winning might not be enough.
Phil Mickelson is No. 15 and in jeopardy of missing his first team event since the 1993 Ryder Cup. Woods will have four captain’s picks after the HSBC Champions in Shanghai, which ends the first weekend in November.
The Presidents Cup is Dec. 12-15 in Australia.