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The Players Championship will be contested next week without its biggest draw.

Tiger Woods announced on Friday that he won’t be playing in the PGA Tour’s flagship event next week in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

Woods, 47, is a two-time Players champion – 2001 and 2013 – and also won one of his record three straight U.S. Amateur titles at TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course. He’s made 18 appearances at the Players during his career, most recently in 2019, just weeks before he captured his 15th major at the Masters.

Woods remains eligible for the Players through next year’s tournament via a five-year exemption for winning the Masters. He had until 5 p.m. Friday to commit to the tournament.

Woods finished T-45 at the Genesis Invitational in February, his first official start since the 150th British Open at St. Andrews in July. Since being involved in a single-car accident in February 2021 that required multiple surgeries to his right leg and ankle, he has been consistent in saying that his focus is on playing the majors, saying, “that’s all my body will allow me to do.”

“My intent last year was to play in all four majors … I got three of the four,” he said. “Hopefully this year I can get all four and maybe sprinkle in a few here and there. But that’s it for the rest of my career. I know that and I understand that. That’s just my reality.”

The decision to skip the Players suggests Woods prefers rest over reps, and likely won’t make another start before the Masters, which begins on April 6.

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