A bucket of cold water has been dumped on Minnesota golf fans hoping Tiger Woods will eventually commit to playing in the 3M Open next month, following Woods' comments after Sunday's final round of the U.S. Open.
Woods was asked twice if he'll play again before the July 18-21 Open Championship in Northern Ireland, and he twice indicated that he won't. According to Golf Digest, Woods was first asked if fans will see him before The Open.
"Depends, if you've got a camera phone," Woods said. "So, no, I think I'm going to take a little bit of time off and enjoy some family time."
Then he was asked specifically if he'll play any of the next four weeks.
"I'll play at home, yeah," Woods said.
That's a pretty good indication that Woods, who has until June 28 to commit to the 3M Open, won't be in the field when the TPC Twin Cities in Blaine hosts the PGA Tour event July 4-7.
Historically, Woods almost always plays in a tournament two weeks before a major, which is precisely when the 3M Open falls. But he appears to be bucking that trend in 2019. He didn't play at all this year between The Masters and PGA Championship, and it appears he might do the same between the U.S. Open and The Open.
The next four weeks preceding The Open include the Travelers Championship in Connecticut, the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Michigan, the 3M Open in Blaine and the John Deere Classic in Illinois.
According to ESPN's Bob Harig, the 3M Open was the only realistic possibility for Woods.
"The only realistic destination for Woods would have been the 3M Open in Minneapolis, which begins July 4. That was always sketchy, and it appears more so now. Woods is taking a family vacation that includes his kids and his mother, and his likely prep for The Open will be in the 10 days to two weeks at home in South Florida."
Woods has until 5 p.m. June 28 – the Friday before the opening round of the 3M Open – to commit, so golf fans shouldn't consider it a guarantee that Woods isn't playing just yet.
The tournament field at the 3M Open is still stacked without Woods.
World No. 1 Brooks Koepka is committed, along with the likes of Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Jason Day, Lucas Glover, Tony Finau, Hideki Matsuyama, Tom Lehman, Tim Herron, Patrick Reed, Si Woo Kim, Max Homa, Sung Kang, Danny Lee and Jason Dufner.
It's also possible that Viktor Hovland, the low amateur at both The Masters and U.S Open who turns pro this week, could play in the tournament.