August 19, 2019 / 3:35 AM / a month ago

Woods misses chance to defend Tour Championship title

Aug 18, 2019; Medinah, IL, USA; Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the 4th hole during the final round of the BMW Championship golf tournament at Medinah Country Club - No. 3. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - There will be no defending champion at next week’s Tour Championship after Tiger Woods failed to qualify for the season-ending event.

Only the top 30 players on the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup points list are eligible to play at East Lake in Atlanta, where $15 million will be up for grabs for the winner.

Woods needed to place about sixth at the BMW Championship on Sunday to qualify, but he tied for 37th at Medinah, a distant 18 strokes behind winner Justin Thomas.

Apart from his win at the Masters for his 15th major title, Woods had a relatively quiet season, which petered out without a whimper amid physical and emotional fatigue.

“The rest of the tournaments I didn’t really play as well as I wanted to, but at the end of the day, I’m the one with the green jacket,” he told reporters on Sunday.

Still, Woods will be disappointed not to get a chance to return to the scene of one of the most memorable victories of his career.

Successfully returning last year from major back surgery, he ended a five-year drought with his two-stroke win at East Lake, the 80th of his PGA Tour career, which was at the time just two shy of Sam Snead’s all-time mark.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; editing by Tony Lawrence/Greg Stutchbury

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