(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)