Sobel: Predicting Tiger Woods’ 2020 Results at Every Tournament He’ll Play


Andrew Redington/Getty Images. Pictured: Tiger Woods at the 2019 Masters

Anyone can predict Tiger Woods’ schedule. Really, it’s not that difficult. The man has always been a creature of habit – and other than a random Greenbrier Classic here or Wyndham Championship there, he rarely offers a surprise in his decision-making process.

The mystery isn’t where or when he’ll play. It’s how.

On the eve of Woods’ 2020 debut at this week’s Farmers Insurance Open, I’m going to take on the decidedly impossible task of trying to figure out what we can expect from Tiger at each event.

Of course, as always, I reserve the right to be completely wrong on this – or in other words, I reserve the right to later change my mind based on fairly mitigating factors like form and health and weather conditions.

Let’s get right to it, starting with a nice start to the year at Torrey Pines.

Farmers Insurance Open: T-15

Last year, fresh off winning the Tour Championship four months earlier in his most recent official start, there was even more anticipation than usual for Tiger’s annual debut. The fireworks never really happened, but the consistency was there. He opened with a 70 on the South Course, matched it the next day on the North Course, then went 71-67 on the weekend to claim a T-20 result. I see a similar fate for him this week, easing into the season, playing solid-but-not-spectacular golf throughout the week. I’ll move him up five spots on the board from a year ago.

The Genesis Invitational: T-10

Superman had kryptonite, Tiger has Riviera. It’s amazing that he still hasn’t won his original hometown event — and perhaps equally amazing that he’s the tournament host of a tourney he’s never won. That alone should serve as motivation and the simple law of averages would suggest that he’d pick off a title here at some point. Instead, I’m going to follow his trend with a prediction trend of my own: He moved up five spots from Torrey to Riv last year, so I’ll move him up five spots again, improving on his T-15 finish.

WGC-Mexico Championship: T-17

Congratulations to Tiger, who’s played four career rounds in Mexico, but owns seven victories in this event and is easily the all-time leading money-winner. That is, of course, because all of his records from the WGC at Doral have transferred over to this one. It doesn’t mean he’ll enjoy similar results here. Last year’s T-10 was a nice debut, but conditions favor the big hitters at this one – and quite frankly, that isn’t Tiger anymore. While he’s played some of his best golf in WGCs over the years and he can certainly repeat that here, I see a bit of a step back in this one after a long week at the Genesis playing host.

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Win

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