124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

The Loop

How Tiger deflated a tournament and 'we became chopped liver'

February 05, 2015

LA JOLLA, Calif. — Only one player in the field has the ability to deflate a tournament, and Tiger Woods demonstrated it at the Farmers Insurance Open on Thursday.


Woods was playing with Billy Horschel and Rickie Fowler when he withdrew with back spasms after hitting his tee shot at his 12th hole, the third on the North Course at Torrey Pines.

Now, Fowler is among the more popular players on the PGA Tour, and Horschel is the reigning FedEx Cup champion.

"Me and Rickie, we got on number three tee and we sort of joked, I said, we saw [Golf Channel's] Tom Byrum leave and all the cameras," Horschel said regarding Woods withdrawing. "And then we saw all the media people scamper away towards [Woods]. And we said, how many people will stay with us?' And we said about 50 and that was true.

"So we went from 600, 700 people watching us to 50. We became chopped liver. We realized where we stand in this game of golf, and we had a good joke about it."

Horschel estimated about 45 of the 50 were there for Fowler, a native of the area. "I got five, just because I won the FedEx Cup. And they still don't even know who I am."