PGA Tour commissioner and Woods hope for big 2014 finish

Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:04pm EDT
 
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By Larry Fine

PARAMUS New Jersey (Reuters) - Tiger Woods, battling back from a back injury, still drives fan interest and TV ratings and PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem is as keen as the former world number one himself that he has a big 2014 finish.

Finchem told reporters on Tuesday there would be no medical exemptions made for the elite season-ending FedExCup playoffs, where the starting field is determined by points earned during the regular season.

However, he was not counting Woods out of the PGA Tour finale, even though he languishes 215th on the list with only the top 125 qualifying for the playoffs and time fast running out.

"It's a year-long competition," Finchem said at media day for next month's playoffs opening Barclays tournament at Ridgewood Country Club. "It (an exemption) kind of muddies up the comparative nature of the competition."

Woods is a massive 358 points outside the cut line for the four-event playoffs having played only five PGA Tour events this season, but he has two big chances to make up ground at venues where he has had great success.

This week, Woods will tee it up at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational starting on Thursday at Firestone Country Club where he has won eight times.

Then comes the Aug. 7-10 PGA Championship at Valhalla in Louisville, Kentucky, where Woods won the 2000 PGA crown.

"I'm looking forward to that player that you're referring to (Woods)...he's got a couple tournaments coming up where he's won on both golf courses and one on which he's won a lot of times," Finchem said.   Continued...

 
Tiger Woods of the U.S. watches his tee shot on the third hole during the final round of the British Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, northern England July 20, 2014. REUTERS/Phil Noble