(Reuters) – Tiger Woods will not play next week’s World Golf Championships (WGC) event in Mexico City.
His name was the most prominent of several big names missing from the field released by the PGA Tour on Friday.
World number two Brooks Koepka, and former number ones Justin Rose and Jason Day are also skipping the event, along with Americans Patrick Cantlay and Rickie Fowler and Swede Henrik Stenson.
Woods finished 10th at the Mexico Championship in his debut at Club de Golf Chapultepec last year.
But he has scrapped the event, which has no cut, from his increasingly sparing schedule as he focuses more than ever on the four major championships.
The 44-year-old will defend his Masters title in April as he chases the all-time record of 18 major titles held by Jack Nicklaus. Woods has won 15 – five Masters, four PGA Championships, three U.S. Opens and three British Opens.
The Club de Golf Chapultepec course is at a high elevation, where shots can be difficult to judge because the ball flies about 15% further than at sea level due to lower atmospheric pressure which makes the air less dense.
Most of those who declined to enter have mundane records there or, in Day’s case, have never played.
But the field will still be loaded, headed by world number one Rory McIlroy and defending champion Dustin Johnson.
The event will be played for the fourth time in Mexico, after having been held for the previous decade in Florida.
There are four WGC events on the 2020 PGA Tour schedule.
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Himani Sarkar)