No roars. No applause. No “Let’s go Tiger!” coming from the gallery that would go rows and rows deep with fans trying to get a glimpse as golf’s most famous player stood on the tee box at No. 1.
Welcome back to the PGA Tour, Tiger, and welcome to how tour events are now being played. While the rest of the tour players have had five tournaments to get used to events without fans amid the coronavi rus pandemic, Woods didn’t get a first-hand experience until Thursday during the first round of the Memorial Tournament.
“There were still a lot of moving carts and a lot of media that were moving around, but the energy wasn’t the same without the fans,” Woods said after his opening-round 1-under 71, which left him in a tie for 18th and five shots behind leader Tony Finau. “That certainly was noticeable, mostly different. But there were still a lot of moving parts with camera crews.”
Woods resisted the urge to return to the tour sooner. He had been curious how events would go after the three-month shutdown due to COVID-19. In early June it was announced that the Memorial would be the first event to allow a limited number of spectators. But with a spike in coronavirus cases in the United States, the PGA Tour decided to scrap that idea. Shortly after, the tour announced there would be no fans at any of the remaining events this season.