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Tiger Woods does not turn 50 until December 2025 – but anticipation is already building about how he could transform the senior game.

Woods, 48, was awarded a lifetime exemption to the PGA Tour’s big-money ‘signature events’ last week.

But he will soon be eligible for the over-50s PGA Tour Champions circuit and could compete in the 2026 US Senior Open at Scioto Country Club in Ohio.

There is a growing belief that the ailing Woods will play senior golf when the time comes, with the incentive of a cart that is permitted at all PGA Champions events.

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The 15-time major champion’s biggest problem since his horror car crash in Los Angeles that caused serious leg injuries in 2021 has been walking 72 holes.

A golf cart would certainly fix that issue – yet the USGA are not as forgiving on handing out carts at their senior major.

Steve Stricker, a close friend of Woods, thinks the governing body might need a rethink.

“Let’s make sure he can play,” Stricker told Golfweek. “You hate to make special rules but if we can get him out here with a cart, let’s do it, you know what I mean,” he said. “We should do everything we can.”

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Geoff Ogilvy, another PGA Tour veteran, concurs.

Ogilvy believes the Woods effect could even make the senior circuit draw more eyeballs than the PGA Tour itself.

“Taking a golf cart changes everything for him. Interest from both fans and sponsors is going to be through the roof,” he said.

“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?”

PGA Tour Champions President Miller Brady has also revealed that preparations are being made well in advance ahead of soaring interest when Woods joins his circuit.

“Will our ratings go up? Absolutely,” Brady said. “Could I see NBC and Golf Channel wanting to put an event on the network? Yeah. Tiger would have to commit early enough for us to make that happen.”

There will certainly be a new level of intrigue into a new chapter of the Woods story.

Jack Nicklaus made an ominous prediction when discussing his fellow icon’s future earlier this year.

“I think Tiger will play the seniors tour, he’ll be able to get in a cart and he’ll absolutely kill everybody,” Nicklaus said. “He’s such a talented guy with a great work ethic and he loves to play golf.”

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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