LA JOLLA, CALIF. | The girls from Déjà
Vu missed him, and were moved enough
to go to great extremes to tell him so.
That’s Déjà Vu, the strip club in San
Diego’s Midway District, not déjà vu all
over again, as Yogi Berra often is quoted
as saying. The ladies wanted Mr. Eldrick
Woods, a.k.a. Tiger.
When in better days, not including
2009 when Woods still was recovering
from knee surgery, he would be at Torrey
and more often than not eventually in the
But in 2010, it hardly was out of sight,
out of mind. Especially for the ladies
from the strip joint, or was it their man-
ager, Dakota Kelley, who came up with
the idea of having a plane fly above Tor-
rey Pines in the first round trailing the
banner reading “WE MISS YOU TIGER!
DÉJÀ VU SHOWGIRLS.”
A front-page story in the San Diego
Union-Tribune forecast the Farmers
would lose $200,000 because of reduced
ticket and corporate marquee sales.
It also lost the excitement Tiger has
Or as Chris Tidland, a PGA Tour
player who used to face Woods back in
the late 1980s when they were both
amateurs in Southern California, ob-
served, “It’s different. The traffic is not
as bad. The crowds, there’s not quite as
much buzz right now.”
Buzz. That’s what Tiger creates. He’s
creating it even now, if in a manner no
one would have predicted a few months
back. He’s the star of the gossip Web
sites and New York Post and Daily News.
They say instead of a Tiger he’s a Cheetah,
which is not to be confused with what
Scott McCarron called Phil Mickelson.
That was “Cheater.”
If fans at the Farmers felt cheated
because the world’s No. 1 player wasn’t in
attendance, it was hard to tell. Other than
the banner from the ladies of Déjà Vu.
Mediate made this point. “Any time
he’s not in the field, it’s obvious that’s not
the best field we have.”
Mickelson, the San Diego native, has
been assigned the task of carrying the
load, of becoming the pro-tem Tiger, as
it were. The Farmers also was his season
opener, and he knew exactly how to be-
gin. By talking about Tiger. As practically
to watch him. When he’s not around, it’s
easy to tell he’s not here.”
Which is a major problem for golf.
Woods invariably skipped some
tournaments, but those in which he com-
peted it was as if the circus had hit town.
And San Diego was, except for last year
when Woods still was recovering from the
knee surgery, one of those in which he
“When Tiger is here there’s a lot more
electricity in the crowd, in the field,
everywhere. More security, more
media people, more people to watch
him. When he’s not around, it’s easy to
tell he’s not here.” — Ryuji Imada
“It’s important for him to come back
and be part of the sport,” said Mickelson.
“The game of golf needs him.”
San Diego needed him. Woods would
show up at Torrey, and then show up with
the trophy. He won in 1999, 2003, 2005,
2006, 2007 and 2008.
“There is definitely less crowd,” said
Ryuji Imada of the atmosphere, “maybe
less attention from the media. But maybe
that’s from Tiger not being here.
“Tiger always plays here. When Tiger
is here there’s a lot more electricity in the
crowd, in the field, everywhere. More se-
curity, more media people, more people
“He’s one of the few athletes,” said
Hunter Mahan, “that’s kind of changed
the game forever. It’s sad he wasn’t here.
It is an opportunity for some of us to go
out there and make some noise.”
But nothing like the noise Tiger
makes. Or the noise the fans make for