Next week the 121st U.S. Open will kick off at Torrey Pines with one legendary golfer absent.
Tiger Woods is still recovering from a February car crash that required emergency surgery, which means he would miss competing at the site where he won his epic 2008 Open victory. That said, he was also invited to join the broadcast booth for the event, and reportedly declined the invitation.
During an NBC Sports media conference call featuring Dan Hicks, Paul Azinger, Jim “Bones” Mackay and Tommy Roy ahead of the major championship, a question was posed about whether Woods or his team had been reached out to see if he’d be interested in being part of the coverage.
“Yeah, in fact, that’s exactly the line that I was thinking and we were all thinking is how good that would be, who better, if he couldn’t be there to play it, to voice it and have him a part of the show. But we were rebuffed,” Hicks explained, according to Yahoo Sports. “He didn’t want to do it, and I totally understand his situation. There is a lot going on in his world right now and there’s also a part of Tiger that doesn’t want to become this, I don’t want to, for lack of a better word, a sideshow at an event where we should be concentrating on what’s happening.”
Hicks continued: “Also, I really believe that if you said yes to something, it would just be a non-stop parade of asks, and he would have to just, you know, start telling everybody no. So, yeah, it would have been fantastic to have Tiger a part of it in that sense, but I understand that what’s going on in his world that he wanted to kind of keep it low key and stay out of the limelight for this one and just hopefully he’ll enjoy it at home watching it on TV and be inspired when we talk about what he did 13 years ago and that’s the best we can hope for.”
Tiger Woods has kept a low profile since the February 23 car accident, which has required several surgeries and will keep him away from the golf course for many more months.