David Dodd 1:48 a.m., May 18
Suppose Tiger DOES Play at Torrey Pines
The gossip mills are saying this afternoon (Dec. 16) that Tiger Woods's wife, Elin Nordegren, has been conspicuously flashing to paparazzi that she is not wearing a wedding ring. The New York Post's scandal mongers report, "She's making plans to move out and take the kids with her." Woods, the world's greatest golfer (named today by the Associated Press as Athlete of the Decade), has said that he was indefinitely dropping out of competitive golf to patch up his marriage, following publication of lurid details of his private affairs with ladies of the evening. But if the wife and kids are gone, and there is no hope to light the love fires again, will Tiger hasten his return to the links? If so, it's possible that he will play in the Jan. 25-31 San Diego Open at Torrey Pines, where he has been a frequent winner. Officials have not been expecting him, and lamenting a possible attendance falloff of 25%, typical of a tourney without Tiger. (He wasn't there last year because of injury.) But suppose he shows up at the nationally televised event? A huge crowd would come and TV ratings would soar. Finally, San Diego sports boosters who claim that pro events bring great money and attention to the area might have something factual to back up their claims.