The 2010 PGA Tour season begins in earnest today in San Diego.
And Tiger Woods will not be playing, much to the chagrin of organizers.
- Celebrity deaths 2018: All the stars we lost too soon 46 Pictures
- Photos: Starbucks Reserve Roastery NYC reconnects you with your coffee 48 Pictures
The effect of the absence of the world’s top-ranked golfer — driven to exile by a wide-ranging infidelity scandal — has been minimal at the three tournaments since the Tour’s official tee-off Jan. 7.
Those — Hawaii’s SBS Championship, the Sony?Open in Hawaii and the desert Bob Hope Classic — are rarely well-attended by top pros, and draw little national media attention.
This weekend, though, is the Famers Insurance Open at San Diego’s famed Torrey Pines.
It’s nationally televised (CBS), and is — by far — the biggest event of the early “West Coast Swing.”
Woods has won it six times, including four in a row from 2005-08. His 22-under 266 in 1999 tied George Burns’ scoring record set in 1987.
But he won’t be there today; not when archrival Phil Mickelson opens at 9 a.m. local time, or when Nick Watney starts his title defense at 10 a.m. on the North Course’s 10th tee.
Television ratings are sure to take a nosedive without Woods; the final round garnered a 2.0 last year with him injured as opposed to a Tiger-ful 4.2 in 2008, according to an Associated Press report.
The tournament didn’t even have a title sponsor until Jan. 18, when Farmers signed on to replace Buick, which dropped its deal when parent company GM filed for bankruptcy.