Ernie Els is 10th in the FedEx Cup points standings, but he won't be playing this week at the Deutsche Bank Championship near Boston. Els withdrew from the tournament today.
"I have been on the road now for almost eight weeks and it is important that I return home where my children will be preparing for their return to school," Els said. "I regret having to miss such a prestigious and important tournament and I wish everybody there an enjoyable and successful week."
Earlier, Scott Verplank, Jose Maria Olazabal and Bernhard Langer announced they wouldn't be playing the Deutsche Bank event despite the fact they're eligible by being inside the top 120 in FedEx Cup points.
It's doubtful the absence of Els, Verplank, Ollie or Langer will affect attendance or TV ratings this weekend, but as Tod Leonard reports in the San Diego Union-Tribune, TV ratings for The Barclays couldn't have made PGA Tour executives happy. Of course, golf telecasts have no chance when Tiger Woods isn't in the field.
On both Saturday and Sunday, The Barclays on CBS was beaten by the Little League World Series on ABC. The World Series final Sunday between Georgia and Japan drew a 3.5 overnight rating, while the golf got a 2.1. On Saturday, both Little League championship games--International (1.8) and U.S. (2.2)--generated higher ratings than The Barclays (1.7).