Were going to go on as usual, said Bay Hill tournament director Jim Bell. Nothing really will change out here as far as the spectators view of it. Behind the scenes weve worked very hard to try and make things enjoyable for the players and spectators, but at the same time were on our toes until we know a little bit more about whats going on.
Monday, President Bush set a 48-hour deadline for Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and his sons to leave the country by 8 PM ET Wednesday.
This weeks event is the most highly anticipated of the early year, with 35 of the top-50 players on the Official World Golf Ranking in the field, including the top two, Tiger Woods and Ernie Els.
The tour has done a fantastic job over the years, Woods said of security. This week is no exception.
Asked if he thought the tournament might be canceled, Woods replied: It would surprise me if they did. There must be a really good reason for them to do it if they did.
Bell said the only way that would happen is if there was a threat in the area.
If something were to happen locally ' a terrorist incident locally ' then wed have to drop back and reevaluate things. But lets not think of the bad stuff, lets look for a good tournament.
Woods offered the same sentiments and added that he hoped the tournament would provide an entertainment alternative.
'I think it's a great distraction for us as players, no doubt about that,' he said. 'I think it can be a wonderful distraction for us and hopefully we can provide some type of entertainment for people who decide to tune in and watch -- get their minds freed up from what's been going on.'
There have only been two PGA Tour events canceled, both in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
NBC is scheduled to televise this week's event, but if there is a war they could switch coverage to one of their cable channels -- possibly CNBC, PAX or Bravo.
Full coverage of the Bay Hill Invitational