Tiger Woods should play in U.S. Senior Open when ready in 2 years; could make history

The U.S. Senior Open takes center stage this week as Bernhard Langer will look to defend his title at the historic Newport Country Club in Newport, Rhode Island.

But in two years’ time, another man will meet the eligibility criteria to play, which should intimidate everyone on the PGA Tour Champions. That would be Tiger Woods, the 15-time major winner who has also won nine United States Golf Association (USGA) titles.

Woods won three U.S. Junior Amateurs and three U.S. Amateurs during a six-year stretch from 1991 to 1996. He then went on to win three U.S. Open titles, with his first coming at Pebble Beach in 2000 and his last coming at Torrey Pines in 2008. He won his other one at Bethpage Black in 2002.

But as Adam Schupak of Golfweek penned on Monday, a U.S. Senior Open title would put Woods in rare territory. No player has ever won the U.S. Junior Amateur, U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open, and U.S. Senior Open during their career. If Woods were to go on and win a U.S. Senior Open, he would become the most decorated USGA Champion of all time with 10 USGA championships. Woods and Bobby Jones currently possess the all-time record with nine apiece.

“He’d love to win that Grand Slam and get some of the other senior majors on his CV,” Padraig Harrington told Shupak.

Tiger Woods, U.S. Open

Tiger Woods lines up a putt during the 2024 U.S. Open.
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

“I saw him at the [PNC Championship] and we were just crossing paths and he laughed at me. I won’t say exactly what he said but the gist of it was he can’t wait to get out and beat me.”

Surely, Woods will want to possess those records all on his own. He loves the competition and wants to be recognized as the greatest golfer ever.

But the PGA Tour Champions also allows its competitors to take a cart, which would help Woods immensely. He has struggled to navigate 72 holes in major championships, but having assistance via a cart would eradicate many of those hardships. Yet, the senior majors require players to apply for and receive a cart via the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).

“Taking a cart changes everything for him,” Geoff Ogilvy added to Schupak.

“Interest both from fans and sponsors is going to be through the roof. I think there’s a good chance that Champions Tour ratings can top the PGA Tour when he decides to play. And what else is he going to?”

Woods will definitely play a role in his son Charlie’s budding golf career, as the younger Woods recently qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur later this summer. Outside of that, the 82-time PGA Tour winner can reinvigorate his competitive spirits and boost the Champions Tour by playing. He should go through with it.

And when he does, the golfing world will love it.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

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