SOUTHPORT, ENGLAND -- In a first for the week leading up to a major golf championship since 1975, there were no news stories today about Tiger Woods. Woods, who is recuperating from knee surgery, is not entered in this week's 137th British Open at the Royal Birkdale Golf Course in Southport, England, which news analysts say may be a factor in the media's decision to not cover this non-event.
Tour players admit that they are still surprised that there were no stories at all about Woods non-appearance in the tournament. Sergio Garcia noted that, "Usually, on the occasion I win a tournament, the day after the headlines read: 'Tiger finishes thirteenth.' But, then again, that's when Tiger's not in contention, not when he's not even in the tournament."
Vijay Singh pointed out that when he won the 86th PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was his fifth win of the year, his second PGA title (giving him three career majors) and sealed his selection as the 2004 PGA Tour Player of the Year, "Tiger makes the cut" was the headline. "So," said Singh, "Tiger can be a presence even when he's not a presence."
David J. Harrison, Chairman of the General Committee of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club, who was educated at Taunton's, Southampton, and then at Saint Edmund Hall, Oxford, and was an Oxford Blue from 1959 - 1961, says that not covering Tiger Woods' nonpresence at The Championship, "probably makes a modicum of sense, as he is not going to be present, and, thus, should be no factor in The Championship's outcome."
Tiger Woods, through his agent Mark Steinberg, said that he had no comment on the absence of any stories on his client's absence from the British Open.
Coverage of Tiger Woods' nonparticipation in The Open Championship is expected to resume tomorrow.