Absent Tiger Leaves Gaping Hole at British Open
Woods, on crutches in Florida, still the talk of the fairways
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2008 4:21 AM CDT
Ernie Els of South Africa plays on the 10th tee during practice for the British Open Golf championship, at the Royal Birkdale golf course, Southport, England, Wednesday, July 16, 2008.    (AP Photo/Jon Super)
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(Newser) – Tiger Woods is sitting out the PGA Tour in Florida but his overwhelming reputation still looms large over the 137th British Open, reports the Washington Post. The golf superstar's image appears on banners in the streets leading to the course and talk of his absence dominated pre-tournament interviews.

"I just hope they've taught the engraver how to put an asterisk on the trophy—then everyone will know what the tournament is about," quipped Geoff Ogilvy, who ranks third in world rankings. Ticket sales are still strong and Woods' longtime mentor Mark O'Meara denied that victory in this year's Open will be in any way tainted—while admitting there's now a "great opportunity for some of the other players to step up."