Tiger Woods receives PGA Tour exemption for signature events due to ‘exceptional lifetime achievement’

June 22, 2024

The PGA Tour has created a special sponsor exemption for Tiger Woods that will allow him to play in the tour’s eight signature events each year.

Considering Woods has played in just four events this year, Woods would normally be ineligible to compete, as he has been outside the top-50 of the FedEx Cup rankings all year.

However, the exemption was created “to recognize Tiger Woods in his own category as a player who has reached an exceptional lifetime achievement threshold of 80+ career wins,” the tour said in a memo to its players, via ESPN.

Tiger Woods of the United States lines up a putt on the 1st green during Day Two of The 150th Open at St Andrews Old Course on July 15, 2022 in St Andrews, Scotland. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Woods is tied with Sam Snead for the most wins in tour history, with 82. His 15 majors rank second behind Jack Nicklaus’ 18.

The Tour initiated “signature events” amid the birth of LIV Golf and conversations with the Saudi-funded league, as well as its own players. The limited-field events have higher purses and more FedEx Cup points for grabs.

This season, the signature events were The Sentry, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Genesis Invitational, Arnold Palmer Invitational, RBC Heritage, Wells Fargo Championship, Memorial Tournament and this weekend’s Travelers Championship.

Tiger Woods waves after his weather delayed second round of the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on Saturday, April 8, 2023, in Augusta, Georgia. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Since the 2022 Masters, Woods has competed in just nine events. The only non-major he has played in has been the Genesis Invitational, which he hosts at Riviera. He withdrew from that tournament this year.

Woods, 48, gave a rather murky outlook when asked if last weekend’s U.S. Open, which he missed the cut, was his last.

“I don’t know… it may or may not be,” he said.

It’s been a tough stretch for Woods, who in 13 majors since winning the green jacket in 2019 has failed to muster a top-20 finish since. It’s his longest such streak since failing to finish inside the top 20 in the first six majors of his career in 1995 and 1996. In his last 25 majors, he has four top 20 finishes.

Woods confirmed that he will play at the Open Championship next month, which will be his final tournament of the year, and he will come back to competitive golf “whenever I come back.”

Tiger Woods looks on from the second tee during the second round of The Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 08, 2022 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Royal Troon hosts this year’s Open Championship beginning on July 18. Woods has not made the cut in the tournament since his T6 finish in 2018. There was no Open in 2020, and he missed the 2021 and 2023 events.