PEBBLE BEACH, CALIF. – Two months after he won a 15th major championship that spun golf’s world around, Tiger Woods birdied Pebble Beach’s iconic 18th hole Sunday afternoon at the U.S. Open, doffed his cap to the cheering crowds and walked off into an extended break expected to last until next month’s British Open.
That means the inaugural 3M Open will go forth in July in Blaine without him.
Woods said after he intends to “enjoy some family time” after he righted a final round that started so badly Sunday, but ended with a 2-under-par 69.
Asked when he will be seen again, he said, “Depends if you’ve got a camera phone. I think I’m going to take a little bit of time off.”
Woods started Sunday’s round with four bogeys in the first six holes and made six birdies and no bogeys the rest of the way. Then he walked up a driveway toward a waiting SUV out of which his children, Sam and Charlie, stuck their heads, and accepted a Father’s Day gift before driving off.
Woods won’t play at this week’s Travelers Championship in Connecticut. New PGA Tour events in Detroit and the 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities follow.
“I’ll play at home, yeah,” Woods said with a wry smile when asked if he will play again before the British Open.
Woods followed his emotional Masters victory by missing the cut at last month’s PGA Championship and finished tied for 21st Sunday at Pebble Beach, where he won the 2000 U.S. Open by a record 15 shots.
Neither Woods nor any of his peers have played a British Open at Royal Portrush, which hasn’t held one since 1951.
Woods has never seen the course, but said he’s “looking forward to getting up there and taking a look at the golf course and its varied winds, trying to figure it out” before competition begins in July’s third week.
“I definitely have to do my homework once I get there,” Woods said.
3M Open executive director Hollis Cavner and his staff recruited Woods and his representatives for months. Their courting has brought commitments from major champions Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, and Patrick Reed as well as ninth-ranked Bryson DeChambeau in a field Cavner on Sunday evening called “tremendous.”
“He would have been a nice addition to it,” Cavner said. “Hope he enjoys the vacation time with his family.”
Woods posted a Father’s Day message on social media Sunday, with a picture of him hugging his father, Earl Woods, who died in 2006.
“Life came full circle for me this year,” he wrote. “Happy Father’s Day Pops and to all Fathers. You’ve taught me so much about the game and how to be there for Sam and Charlie. We miss you.”
He was asked if he finds himself saying to his children the same things his father did to him.
“All the time, all the time,” he said. “There’s not a day that I don’t think about my dad. On a day like today, when I won this championship, his cancer was spreading and he wasn’t able to make it up here. Even though I had a big lead playing Sunday, he couldn’t fly. Going home that night was awfully special to share with him.”