Tiger’s missed, but the show goes on

And now for your daily Tiger Woods update: he’s not here. But thousands have showed up today to watch a golf tournament without the sport’s brightest star and with the biggest prize — the $10 million FedEx Cup — already decided. It seems like these details would kill a party.
“We came out here to get close to the players,” said 41-year-old Craig Buffkin of Nashville, who brought along his 8-year-old son, Charlie. The boy is a big Tiger fan, so I asked him if he was having fun or if he was disappointed that Tiger was not around.

“A little bit of both,” Charlie said matter-of-factly. We
may have a future politician here.

Other fans echoed the Tiger effect.
“Tiger’s my boy,” says 21-year-old Terry Walker of Marietta, Ga. “It’s disappointing not to see him, and there’s always a large group following Tiger, so we’re missing out on that.”

“It’s boring,” says Shapour Ahmadin, of Atlanta. “There’s no excitement. Nobody’s cheering. When Tiger’s out, he brings the crowds to life.”

“I’m a big Tiger fan and I’m not as enthused this year as past years,” says Beth Tolley, of Athens, Ga., who’s attended the last five Tour Championships with her husband, Edward. “But it’s still a fun thing to

It took a while, but eventually I found two fans who don’t miss Tiger one bit: Ed Turner and Brett Nichols are friends of Ken Duke and came out strictly to cheer on their buddy.

“I think it makes it more interesting without Tiger,” Nichols says. “Look at guys like Anthony Kim. No one knew who he was at the start of the summer.”

Turner, meanwhile, is “That Guy” in Duke’s gallery. You know That Guy. When Duke lashes his tee shot at the intimidating 235-yard par-3 18th, Turner screams, “DUKIE. GET IN THE HOLE.” Duke made par.

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