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Players react to Woods announcement


Golf Channel’s Inga Hammond roamed the driving range at the Merrill Lynch Shootout before the second round on Saturday morning getting reaction to the news that Tiger Woods is taking an “indefinite break” from golf to address personal issues in his life.

Golf Channel will be airing Hammond ’s interviews on Golf Central throughout the day. Here are some of the things players had to say:

Steve Stricker

“Who am I to say, but I think it’s a good move on his part to try to get his family organized and get that going. That should be his first priority. Golf is always going to be there. He’ll always be welcome out here on Tour, and we will miss him while he’s gone, but hopefully he gets everything taken care of at home ...

“We will feel the impact, no doubt. There is definitely a difference when he’s at an event and when he’s not at an event. We’ll manage, though. There are a lot of other great players in this game and a lot of other great storylines, but we will definitely miss him ...

“I’m hoping for the best for him. It’s sad to see what they’ve been going through the last couple weeks ... The bottom line is we need him out here, but we need him out here mentally right and happy for everybody to make it work. Hopefully, it all works out.”

Mark Calcavecchia

“I was thinking about his schedule, and I really didn’t think he was gong to show up at Torrey Pines, or anything soon. Indefinitely? How long does that mean? I don’t know. I’m a fan of his just like everyone else. He definitely needs to take time, and I think he’s doing the right thing, take time and get things straight with Elin and his family and just come back whenever he’s ready ...

“Obviously, it was a tough situation to try to handle, and he didn’t know how to do it and his people who work for him didn’t really know how to do it. I think they are on the right track ...

“I think enough is enough. It’s been a couple weeks, and now let him be, and let him work on the things he needs to work on ...

“I’m a big fan of his, a friend of his, and I miss him. I love watching him play like everyone else. The good news for the rest of us is it’s going to be a lot easier to win tournaments without Tiger playing. But we need him out here. What he’s done for our Tour and golf over the last 13 year is unparalleled, really. Whenever he comes back, hopefully it’s smooth sailing and he’ll be better than ever.”

Brad Faxon

“There is so much speculation about what’s going on in his world and obviously there’s such a huge trickle-down effect to what he does and how everything goes forward. Hopefully, he takes care of what he needs to take care of ...

“It would be hard for me to believe he could stay away for a year, but he has some work to do, I guess, to fix some stuff. We are all speculating where it’s going ...

“I think the statement was a good statement. You don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors. If the rumors are true, it’s going to be a hard to come back and make everything work, but it’s been done before and things are quickly forgotten in this world, that’s for sure . . .

“It’s unfortunate, because we pretty much have had no blemishes, really. Every once in a while, there is a little thing that’s no big deal. This has affected a lot of people in the world. It’s on the front page of the New York Post and US [Weekly] Magazine. We’ve never really had anyone transcend to Hollywood like Tiger.”

Nick Price

“He’s got a lot of wounds to heal. I think it will be a good thing for him to consolidate his time with his family and just try to start anew from here ...

“Golf will miss him, there’s no doubt about it, over the last 10, 12 years. He’s been the focus of the game. The fact he did not win a major championship was a surprise to most of us. Hopefully, he will come back, get his house in order and start playing golf the way we know Tiger can play golf ...

“I think once he gets his mind focused again, and he gets back totally into this, it may be something that fires him up even more. We all want to see him beat Jack’s record. Probably the only one who doesn’t want to see him break Jack’s record is Jack. This may make him even more focused and a better person.”

J.B. Holmes

“I think it’s a good decision for him to get his family back in order. It’s going to be a big loss for golf, but it’s his decision and I wish the best for him and hope everything works out . . .

“It’s different from last time [when he was out with a knee injury]. We don’t know when he’s coming back. With the knee we had an idea, but you just never know. I wish him the best and hope everything works out for him.”

Dustin Johnson

“The first thought is what’s it going to do to our Tour. He’s the best player in the world. He’s been golf’s idol. It’s sad not being able to see him play. Obviously, it’s best for him and his family. My prayers go out to him and his family and hopefully he comes out as soon as possible . . .

“We don’t know how long he’s going to be out. We don’t quite know what it means. But obviously he’s not going to be there at the start of the season. Hopefully, things work out well enough that maybe he can be back halfway through the season or maybe even before then.”

Jeff Sluman

“It’s obviously his decision. Whatever he decides, I’m all for him. We just want him to be ready when he comes out. More importantly, golf is not even important right now in his life. I just wish him the best with his family situation, with Elin and the kids, and I hope it works out the best way it can possibly work out ...

“If it’s the right move for him, it’s really none of our business. It’s the way I look at it. Only he knows what’s going on within his family circle. If he needs to take time off, I’m 100 percent for it.”

Boo Weekley

“I’m proud of him. I think it’s a good thing he is going to take the time and spend it with his family and try to get his life together. That’s what you need to take care of first . . .

“Tiger is a big asset to the Tour. He brings a lot of different characters and a lot of different sponsors to help us make the money we’ve made, and we are happy to have him out here with us ...

“The Tour isn’t all about Tiger. There are 200, 300 guys out here playing to make a living like he did. It ain’t just about one player. He ain’t bigger than the game. Unfortunately, he won’t be with us to make things run a little smoother, but I think we can survive without him. We have in the past, and we look forward to his return when he does come back out.”

Graeme McDowell

“There was all the speculation without Tiger saying much, so it was good to hear him come out and give a bit of closure. Unfortunately, it will be a bit of a blow to have him out. How long is it going to be? Is it going to be three months? Is it going to be six months? Or is it going to be more? So everyone of the players will be looking forward to him coming back. Tournaments are going to be easier without him in the field, obviously, but we certainly need him in the field. He gives events such a big boost. We hope he gets things sorted out and comes around quick. Golf needs him ...

“At a time when the world is having a tough time economically, we don’t need any more blows to our sport. With Tiger out, it’s definitely going to have an impact. I hope he can come back quick and give the game a big boost again. There are plenty of young players, not taking over for him, but certainly, coming in to give the game a huge boost. I think the game’s never been healthier, but we certainly need him back.

Chris DiMarco

“Sad for the tour a little bit, whenever you take the biggest name out, the biggest draw out ... Tiger’s got to take care of Tiger and Elin and his family and that’s always No. 1. We’ll support him, and we are all behind him. We just wish him the best. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.