In the eyes of the media, an Open without Tiger falls somewhere below the post-Lance Tour De France publicity-wise, so only hardcore golf geeks probably even know the Open is going on, but this should open up the Open to another top player poised to take a major.
The World Golf Rankings are a bit of a clusterfutz after Tiger, with a whole bunch of good players without any dominant ones, kind of like the PGA tour was in the dark ages before Tiger.
Last night, my brother and I did our draft picks for this year's Open (via IM, since we don't live under the same roof anymore). This was my turn to pick Mr. Woods, but he wasn't in the field so I picked Phil Mickelson (world #2). Here are the rest of our picks along with their scores after one day.
His guys are beating my guys so far, but there's still a long way to go. My first two picks (Phil and Vijay) came in with 79 and 80, and the rest of my picks were only one half stroke better than picking random names out of a hat. I guess picking chalk doesn't work that well in golf, especially when Tiger isn't playing. I should have gone with my hunch pick of Rocco Mediate, who's tied for the lead after one round.