Tiger Woods is preparing to play in front of no fans will be stepping into the unknown this week’s PGA Championship hunting for a 16th major championship against the surreal backdrop of a deserted course at TPC Harding Park.
Woods, 44-year-old former world No. 1 has become accustomed to roaring galleries following his every shot, providing a jolt of energy that he has fed off time and again.
Woods won the WGC-American Express Championship there in 2005, saying the “electric” atmosphere for his play-off with John Daly left him “half-deaf”.
Relatively cold, damp conditions are forecast for the event in San Francisco and Woods knows the area well, having often played there as a junior and while at Stanford University.
Besides his 2005 win at Harding Park, the only other occasion the 15-time major winner has played the course as a professional was in 2009, winning all five of his matches as the USA won the Presidents Cup.
Woods celebrated “for quite some time” after ending his 11-year major drought by winning the Masters in April 2019 and missed the cut five weeks later when returning to action at the US PGA when Brooks Koepka retained his title.