Sawgrass rivals deny Woods' absence lifts victory expectations
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Thursday 08 May 2008
Although the absence of Tiger Woods from this week's Players Championship– which starts today – will be severely felt by the fans, his rivals at Sawgrass say their preparations have been unaffected.
"It wasn't a topic of conversation in the round of golf that we played today," Phil Mickelson, the defending champion and world No 2, said.
Another American, the seventh-ranked Jim Furyk said: "I don't think we look at this event and say, 'He's not here, now I have a better chance of winning.' You worry about yourself and your own game and getting yourself ready. I'm not really looking at the field. I'm thinking about what the golf course plays like and what I will have to do to get my game in shape to play this golf course."
Woods, champion in 2001, is still recovering after undergoing knee surgery and may not return to the PGA Tour until next month's US Open.
Padraig Harrington, the Open champion, said that Woods' absence had no bearing on his own build-up. "If it comes down to it on Sunday and you're playing the 18th hole and you're a shot behind or a shot ahead, it doesn't really make any difference who's on the other side of the tee," the Irishman said.
"It's going to be just as hard to beat that player as anybody else because if they're there, they're probably playing the best golf of their life."
Latest in Sport
Frank Lampard equalises for Manchester City against Chelsea: how Twitter reacted
All Blacks Aaron Cruden misses New Zealand flight after drinking session, has brilliant excuse
Manchester City vs Chelsea match report: Frank Lampard shows no joy after denying Chelsea victory
Leicester City 5 Manchester United 3 player ratings: Leonard Ulloa? Radamel Falcao? Jamie Vardy? Angel Di Maria? Who was the star man?
Leicester City vs Manchester United match report: Jamie Vardy runs lopsided United ragged in amazing comeback
- 1 All Blacks Aaron Cruden misses New Zealand flight after drinking session, has brilliant excuse
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': TV reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 Alicia Keys leaks nude photo 'to create a kinder and more peaceful world'
- 5 Clothes store Joy angers mental health campaigners with Twitter exchange on bipolar disorders
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God