'This Place is Dead Anyway'

The line is from Swingers, but it also describes the vibe at the Players Championship, at least according to this piece by Steve Elling of CBS Sports. I guess El Nino (Sergio Garcia) plus Lefty (Phil Mickelson) plus Cinderella (Paul Goydos) plus some gutty vets (Bernhard Langer, Kenny Perry) don't equal Eldrick (Tiger Woods). An excerpt from Elling: As is often the case, the best gauge of fan demand can be measured via the rough-hewn guys hawking tickets on street corners outside any sports venue. The scalpers Friday morning looked equal parts desperate and bored as they took up their positions at sunrise alongside State Highway A1A, which fronts the property. "Terrible, terrible," one scalper groused after he was roused from his position, leaning up against a restaurant sign outside an area strip mall. "Man, I can show you 50 tickets from yesterday that I couldn't sell." Mind you, the event has been announced as a sellout and demand among the scalpers in past years has usually been steady, he said. Face value on the tickets is $75 but nobody was getting anywhere near that on the street. In the 15 years he has been hawking tickets at Sawgrass, this is the worst it has ever been, he said. "My friend over there said, 'There's no Tiger in the woods,'" the scalper laughed, pointing at his equally bored buddy stationed across the street. "There's usually cars lined up in this here parking lot waiting for us." It's not much better, apparently, in the restaurants themselves. In what has become an annual ritual, a foursome of golf scribes ventured to the nearby Outback Steakhouse after Thursday's first round and was surprised to find the place half-full. Usually, during tournament week, there's a lengthy wait for a table at any of the local eateries, which often import extra help to accommodate the overflow. "It's been this way for a couple of weeks," our waitress, Kelly, said as she motioned to the mostly empty room. "We were really hoping it would turn around this week."

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