PITTSFORD, N.Y. (WROC) — It’s a tough break for Rochester this year as Tiger Woods will not compete in the 2023 PGA Championship. The golf legend had surgery on his right ankle after withdrawing from the Master’s last month.
But regardless if Tiger is crushing his competition or struggling to make the cut, he still draws a major presence whenever he comes to town. Several fans at the PGA Championship said they were disappointed when they found out Tiger would not play in the upcoming major.
“It definitely digs a little more because up to a month ago I thought he was going to be here,” said Robert Forrest of Henrietta. “Maybe he might not make the cut, but he’d at least be here practicing. He’d at least be here Thursday and Friday.”
Fairport’s Steve Allen said it was upsetting that Tiger couldn’t play.
“I feel like he’s one of the most sought-after golfers in the game,” said Allen. “For him to have the chance to come to Rochester and for that to fall short is definitely frustrating.”
But not all of the spectators echoed those sentiments.
“I feel like from my generation, Gen Z, Tiger Woods is not as big to us anymore because he’s been injured and he’s not playing as much,” said Mackenzie Harkenrider. “No disrespect, he’s the GOAT. But there’s new guys that are up and coming that are fun to watch.”
Not everyone is upset Tiger is not at Oak Hill this week. A few fans added that they’re not surprised, considering he’s been in and out of the lineup for years battling several injuries.
But even without Tiger’s large presence, there are still many fan favorites to make it a fun week.
“Big fan of Rickie Fowler,” said Dominick Splendorio of Beacon, New York. “When he was younger playing golf, he was all in orange. All the time.”
“Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler. I mean there’s just so many good players now,” said Forrest.
Even without the legend, there are still enough stars to make the 2023 PGA Championship an exciting time.