• PGA Tour

Woods 'wrapping his head around' new-look PGA Tour

October 16, 2013
Woods is struggling to come to terms with the new season starting so quickly © Getty Images

A new PGA Tour season is underway and Tiger Woods is not exactly sure what to make of it.

The world No. 1 won't tee it up again until next month at a European Tour event and is not planning to participate in any of the events that make up the start of the 2013-14 season, the PGA Tour's first foray into a wrap-around schedule.

"For me, I'm still wrapping my head around it," Woods said Tuesday at a promotional event for his World Challenge, an annual tournament that supports the Tiger Woods Foundation.

"We were talking about this at the Presidents Cup, and it's hard to believe that the very next week is a tour event - our following season. We felt like we were still playing our [2013] season. I think it's going to take a little bit of time to get accustomed to.

"Some of the guys are playing in their local areas, some guys are going overseas. This is something that is very different to us in our sport. Other sports it's the norm."

Woods, who won five times on the PGA Tour in 2013 and topped the money list, has two more events left this year: the Turkish Open, between November 7 and 10, and the World Challenge, which will be played at Sherwood Country Club from December 5 to 8.

He is not expected to resume his PGA Tour schedule until he defends his title at the Farmers Insurance Open (January 23-26) at Torrey Pines.

Jimmy Walker won the Frys.com Open on Sunday - the opening event of the new season © Getty Images

The 2013-14 season began last week with the Frys.com Open and continues this week with the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas. Next week the Tour heads to Malaysia, followed by a World Golf Championship event in China before the McGladrey Classic at Sea Island, Georgia, and the OHL Classic at Mayakoba, Mexico.

All six of the tournaments are now official, offer FedEx Cup points and the winners get an invitation to the Masters.

A few years before the start of the FedEx Cup format that began in 2007, Woods was among several prominent players who called for a shorter season, with the idea that the top players would compete against each other more.

When the FedEx Cup was born, it meant the Tour Championship ended the season in September, with the following fall events mainly for those trying to keep their status. Now those events have been transformed into the first tournaments of the new season.

"The whole idea of ending the season earlier was to give us a bigger break," Woods said. "Guys were taking their breaks basically in October and sometimes even into November, then going down to either South Africa or Australia and playing those events in December.

"You had a month or two off where guys would take their breaks because of the FedExCup ending earlier at the end of September, then guys would go support their home countries either in South Africa, Australia, or the American players would go down there to play to get ready for the following year.

"It's going to be interesting to find our break time now with this scheduling. It's new to all of us, this wrap-around schedule."

With that in mind, Woods said he is pleased with the field assembled for his annual tournament, now in its 15th year. Defending champion Graeme McDowell is among the 18-player field, as is PGA Championship winner Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Ernie Els.

Also scheduled to compete are Jason Day, Steve Stricker, Bubba Watson, Hunter Mahan, Nick Watney, Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker, Jim Furyk and Keegan Bradley.

McIlroy will play the event on the back end of a six-tournament stretch that starts this week in Korea, takes him to two tournaments in China, then Dubai and Australia.

No. 1 in the world a year ago, McIlroy has slipped to sixth after a tumultuous season that has seen him deal with equipment changes, new sponsorships and management changes.

"Give him a little bit more time," Woods said. "He's starting to put the pieces together, starting to play a little bit more. He showed some really good signs towards the end of the season that the things he's working on are starting to come together."

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