Their chances of winning tournaments are better without him, but it's clear the players on the PGA Tour would much rather have Tiger Woods in the field Thursday through Sunday.
At this weekend's tour stop, Tiger's statement on Friday was a big topic of conversation. Many have reached into their bags and pulled out the 'no comment' club. A few others offer milquetoast responses to reporters' questions. They're tired of talking about it and really, what can they say? Passing judgment in public likely wouldn't be well accepted by some.
It would be nice to see more players offer up some thoughtful responses on the whole subject because it has so many tentacles that affect the tour, pro sports and society. Did Tiger pull the wool over our eyes by letting his marketers form this 'determined family man' image? Is he a victim of too much success too soon? Few of his PGA Tour colleagues are willing to even share their opinions.
Here's what they were saying this week:
No doubt, the players probably lay a lot of the blame for what could be a very soft season squarely on Tiger. There are other stars playing pro golf, but Woods is such a mega force that a lot of people dismiss the Tour without him as if a win doesn't really count if Tiger isn't in the field. The Tour needs him and it doesn't sound like he's anywhere ready to come back. Tiger and "the rest of the field" are joined at the hip, for better or worse. They say they'll be patient and wait for him, but the circus that will ensue once he does come back isn't something the "field" deserves.