The PGA Championship registration deadline was supposed to come for Tiger Woods on August 5. Yet Woods got an extension and another day to keep everyone guessing on whether the PGA Championship would proceed without him. Of course, given Woods' back problems, he may not do much at all even if he does play, although everyone is waiting on edge to see if he will anyway.
The waiting game could go on right up to Woods' tee time, which is scheduled for 8:35 a.m. est on August 7. If he signs up before then, he will go on and play the first round in a super pairing -- at least in name -- with Phil Mickelson and Padraig Harrington. If not, he will miss his third major of the year and may not be seen on a course again for some time, yet caddy Joe LaCava said he was "optimistic" on August 5.
In the past, when Woods was in danger of missing a major or not contending in one, the sport of golf struggled to maintain interest. But going into the PGA Championship, his injuries may be the main story, yet they are the only one.
It is good timing for the championship that this happened as Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia have caught fire. After McIlroy dominated the British Open and came back to win the Bridgestone Invitational over Garcia last week, the non-Woods buzz is centered around whether he will win his second straight major. As for Garcia, his near misses in those tournaments have raised the possibility that he may finally be ready to win his first major.
Another duel between McIlroy and Garcia, or a surprise run from Mickelson, would more than make up for a lack of Woods at the PGA Championship. Still, if Woods plays and does some damage, or crashes and burns even worse, it would still be the top story at Valhalla no matter what anyone does. Even at this low point of his career, he still has that power, despite a lack of power in his actual game.
Whether he is there or not, McIlroy, Garcia, Mickelson, Adam Scott and the rest of golf's finest will have at it tomorrow on TNT. If Woods is there, it will be an added bonus, even if it has no effect on the chase for the Wannamaker Trophy either way.