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Woods misses chance to defend Tour

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Tiger Woods of the United States competes during the final round of the PGA Tour Genesis Open golf tournament in Los Angeles, the United States, Feb. 17, 2019. Holmes won the title of the Genesis Open. (Xinhua/Zhao Hanrong)

LONDON (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 a staggering $15 million will be up for grabs for the winner.

In order to qualify, Woods needed to place about sixth at the BMW Championship on Sunday, but was destined to finish much further back after a final-round of even-par 72 at Medinah in suburban Chicago. He finished at seven-under 281, tied in a provisional 38th place with the leaders still to complete their rounds.

Woods may not need the money, but is nonetheless disappointed not to get a chance to return to the scene of one of the most memorable victories of his career.

Successfully returning from major back surgery, he last year ended a five-year drought with his two-stroke win, the 80th of his PGA Tour career, just two shy of Sam Snead’s all-time mark.

The win also set the stage for Woods’ epic triumph at this year’s Masters, where he claimed his 15th major title, a full decade after his previous success.

That Masters performance, however, proved to be the high point of the 2019 campaign for Woods, whose season subsequently petered out without a whimper.

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