Miller: Woods WD a 'huge impact' on tournament


Tournament host Johnny Miller admitted that news of Tiger Woods' withdrawal will have a "huge impact" on the Safeway Open.

Miller owns Silverado Resort & Spa, site of this week's season-opening event, and had expected to welcome Woods as a tournament headliner. Woods formally committed to the event Friday, but withdrew just three days later because of what he described as a "vulnerable" golf game.

Miller extended his best wishes to Woods during a "Golf Central" interview, but noted that the tournament won't quite be the same without him.

"It is a huge impact on our tournament," Miller said. "Everybody was so excited in the golf world, and here in Northern California. ... I know there is a lot of pressure on Tiger after 14 months in being away from professional golf. The expectation and nervous level has got to be almost like when he played in his first L.A. Open when he was a kid. It is hard being Tiger Woods."

Miller added that Woods has "promised" tournament organizers that he will return for the 2017 edition of the event if possible, and he offered some advice for the 14-time major champ whose return to competition now remains a moving target.

"He has got to break the ice sometime. I hope he picks the right spot," Miller said. "It is 10 times harder for him being Tiger Woods. But then again, when much is given, much is expected. I hope that he can find a little joy in the game again and feel good about teeing it up."