SBD/Issue 222/Events & Attractions

Tiger-Less PGA Championship Tees Off Without Much Attention

PGA Championship Tees Off
Amid Busy Sports Schedule
The 90th PGA Championship, which teed off this morning at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, "brings up the rear in terms of prestige" among the four major golf tournaments, and this year's edition -- which is without Tiger Woods -- is the "least-anticipated major championship in recent memory," according to Jason Sobel of ESPN.com. The event coincides with the Beijing Olympics, NFL preseason football, pennant-race baseball and, "as usual, multitudes of family vacations and other summer activities" (ESPN.com, 8/6). Golfer Paul Lawrie said the tournament is "definitely fourth on my list. The other three majors have their own distinct identities and styles of play. The USPGA, relatively, is just another event" (GUARDIAN.co.uk, 8/7). In Detroit, Carlos Monarrez writes the media center is "noticeably emptier this year than it has been during previous PGAs. But Woods' absence isn't the only factor. Competition with the Olympics and a difficult economic climate for newspapers also are likely contributers to the dearth of scribes" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 8/7). SPORTINGNEWS.com's Dave Larzelere wrote the PGA Championship "generally derives one benefit from its placement on the calendar, which is that not much of anything else worth paying attention to is going on in August." However, this year it is "coinciding with the start of THE OLYMPICS!" Larzelere: "It's getting about as much media coverage this week as John McCain did while [Barack] Obama was in Europe" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 8/5).

STILL A MAJOR: In Toledo, Dave Hackenberg wrote, "The last time we checked the PGA is still a major championship. They're still going to present that big, bulky Wanamaker Trophy come Sunday evening. Minus one player, albeit the best player, it still boasts the top field of all the majors" (TOLEDO BLADE, 8/6). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Tim Carroll wrote, "During the breaks between the swimming and the gymnastics and the sob stories of some athlete's cousin's husband's aunt who has some incurable disease, you might just want to tune in to the golf" (WSJ.com, 8/6).

ROAR WITHOUT TIGER? Golfer Ernie Els said of Woods' absence, "We don't have the best player in the world here, and I think that will be remembered for a very short time. With all due respect to Tiger, I think Tiger will agree with me -- the game of golf is bigger than any player" (DETROIT NEWS, 8/7). In Detroit, Bob Wojnowski wrote, "The PGA Championship isn't empty without Woods. Many talented players are here. But something is missing, and the elephant in the room is the Tiger outside the room" (DETROIT NEWS, 8/6). The FREE PRESS' Monarrez yesterday wrote, "With Tiger lost for the season ... and the world of golf getting its first look at the bleak future of a Tigerless landscape around the year 2020, the sport needs another story line" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 8/6). SPORTINGNEWS.com's Jon Jeffries wrote under the header, "Tiger-Free PGA Isn't Worth Shouting About" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 8/6).

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