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Tiger Woods' decision to put away clubs and not play between Majors is truly puzzling, admits McGinley

Strange call: Paul McGinley has been left scratching his head
Strange call: Paul McGinley has been left scratching his head

By Phil Casey

Former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley is baffled by Tiger Woods opting not to play competitively between the US Open and The Open Championship.

Woods did not play between winning his 15th Major title in The Masters in April and the following month's US PGA Championship, where he missed the cut and trailed playing partner Brooks Koepka by 17 shots after two rounds.

The 43-year-old did not make the same mistake between the US PGA and US Open, finishing ninth in the Memorial Tournament and then 21st at Pebble Beach, but his only public appearance before a practice round at Royal Portrush on Sunday had been a post on social media.

Woods spent two weeks on holiday in Thailand with his mother and two children and admitted he did not touch a club while there before returning to the United States on July 2.

McGinley admits he is perplexed by Woods' approach to the year's final Major.

"It's very hard to know what is going on with Tiger," McGinley said. "I don't know where he is with his fitness, his health, his family, but to only have played one tournament outside the Majors since The Masters just doesn't make sense."

Asked if Woods had been drained by his emotional win at Augusta after an 11-year Major drought, McGinley added: "I don't know. Winning shouldn't take that much out of you. Winning should excite you. Winning should take you forward.

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"That's why it makes no sense that he's only played in one tournament since Augusta, outside of the Majors. I can't figure that out.

"To have such huge breaks between the Majors hasn't made a lot of sense. I know the schedule has changed this year but is he giving himself the best opportunity to win? You'd have to say no.

"As great a competitor as he is, you still need to cut your teeth in PGA Tour and European Tour events in between Majors.

"There were rumours he was heading to Ireland early to practice. But even though you're the best competitor in the world - one of the best competitors ever seen in sport - it's still very difficult to take so much time off and then try to compete against the standard of golf we have.

"I'm sure he has his reasons and he'll be asked about it this week."

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