PGA Championship

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The Loop

Tiger's leave finally begins

January 22, 2010

The Friday 5 p.m. (EST) deadline for committing to the following week's PGA Tour event passed uneventfully, without a commitment coming from Tiger Woods. He won't be playing in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, Calif., next week.

Typically, Woods would have begun his season at this tournament, formerly known as the Buick Invitational, one he's won six times. So when he announced in December that he was taking an indefinite leave from golf, it wouldn't actually have been a leave until and unless he skipped the Farmers Insurance Open.

Since 2006 (excluding '09, when he was absent while recovering from knee surgery), Woods had begun his season at Torrey Pines. There still is no word on when he might return to golf.

ADD: Phil Mickelson, No. 2 in the World Ranking, makes his 2010 debut at the Farmers Insurance Open and will be in pursuit of a third straight victory. Mickelson won the Tour Championship and the WGC-HSBC Champions to close his '09 season.

-- John Strege