<
>

Tiger Woods to skip BMW Championship pro-am

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. -- For what appears to be the first time in his professional career, Tiger Woods is skipping a pre-tournament pro-am this week at the BMW Championship.

There is no visible injury issue, as Woods was at Aronimink Golf Club on Tuesday for a nine-hole practice round with Rory McIlroy.

But the pre-tournament staple at events around the world is something that Woods has said in the past he has never missed.

Under PGA Tour rules, players are allowed to opt out of a pro-am twice a year in exchange for doing some other sponsor-related activity such as a clinic or a Q&A session. Justin Rose did just that last week at the Dell Technologies Championship.

But Woods has never done so, electing always to take part in the Wednesday proceedings -- which is a requirement for players in the field who are eligible for the pro-am. He often uses the pro-am as a casual practice round.

Typically, pro-am fields -- which consist of around 50 players who are grouped with amateurs paying for the privilege -- are determined based on the previous year's FedEx Cup points list, along with a few sponsor invitations.

Woods, given his stature, is always a sponsor pick if not otherwise eligible and typically takes one of the first tee times of the day.

There is a short turnaround this week due to the Monday finish at the Dell Technologies, where Woods tied for 24th and remains 25th in the FedEx Cup standings. For the first time since early in 2013, Woods is playing three consecutive weeks, and needs to remain among the top 30 in FedEx points in order to be eligible for the Tour Championship in two weeks.

Woods is also expected to be one of U.S. captain Jim Furyk's at-large picks for the Ryder Cup, which is Sept. 28-30 in France.