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
Arsenal transfer news: Gunners given boost in hunt for Marco Reus, why Wenger signed Gabriel Paulista, no move for Cheick Tiote
Australian Open 2015: Thanks to Amelie Mauresmo, it's no longer Andy Murray against the world
Transfer news and rumours LIVE: Juan Cuadrado to Chelsea, Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester City, United want Gareth Bale
Liverpool transfer news: Reds want Hannover captain Lars Stindl to replace Steven Gerrard; Andy Carroll 'lost respect' for Brendan Rodgers
Kim Sears 'swearing' outburst threatens to overshadow Andy Murray's Australian Open semi-final win
- 1 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 2 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Rashida Jones speaks out against male-centric porn saying 'women should have sex and feel good about it'
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Hard line on immigration could cost Tories the election