The Associated Press
POTOMAC, Md.–Tiger Woods’ extended absence from golf isn’t being felt just on the course.
Woods can bring excitement to a tournament even if he isn’t playing–as he’s shown over the years at the Quicken Loans National, which he hosts.
This year, though, Woods will miss the trophy presentations at both of the PGA Tour events that benefit his foundation.
He skipped the Genesis Open at Riviera in February because of his injured back, and now he’s being treated at a clinic for his use of prescription drugs.
The stint in treatment follows his arrest on a DUI charge in May during which he had several medications, but no alcohol, in his system, according to police in Jupiter, Fla.
The Quicken Loans National is doing its best to press on without him, but the buzz surrounding the event–which this year comes to TPC Potomac for the first time–has faded.
“We all would love for him to be here,” Patrick Reed said. “But at the end of the day, for him to put his foot down and go ahead and take care of himself and try to get better, that’s more important than playing golf or being here for a golf tournament.
“We all wish him the best and we want him out here, every one of us.”
Rickie Fowler, who has an endorsement deal with Quicken Loans, is the only player from the world’s top 10 in the field this week.
And just two more are inside the top 20: Justin Thomas and Reed.
Fowler, one of the top draws in golf, has broken his fans’ hearts plenty this year.
He won the Honda Classic in February but hasn’t shot better than 70 in a final round since March, wasting chances to win the Masters and the U.S. Open.
He said he’s caught himself trying too hard.
“There’s probably been a few times where it hasn’t been exactly either the right mindset or potentially getting behind the eight ball early and pushing a little bit too much from there,” Fowler said.