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Tiger Woods’ withdrawal left Rickie Fowler, Billy Horschel as ‘chopped liver’

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One of the less serious repercussions that followed Tiger Woods’ sudden withdrawal due to injury from the Farmers Insurance Open midway through his first round on Thursday was that it left his playing partners Rickie Fowler and Billy Horschel feeling like “chopped liver.”

Horschel and Fowler noticed immediately that the gallery that was following the threesome around Torrey Pines became significantly smaller once Woods gingerly hopped onto a cart and headed back to the clubhouse.

“Me and Rickie, we got on number three tee and we sort of joked, I said, we saw [Golf Channel’s] Tom Byrum leave and all the cameras,” Horschel said, describing the scene upon Woods’ exit, via Golf Digest. “And then we saw all the media people scamper away towards [Woods]. And we said, ‘how many people will stay with us?’ And we said about 50 and that was true.

“So we went from 600, 700 people watching us to 50. We became chopped liver. We realized where we stand in this game of golf, and we had a good joke about it.”

 

The dwindling gallery of course felt less inclined to follow the two very talented golfers and the media who trailed the threesome made off as soon as Woods sped off. In fact, there was far greater interest in Woods holding court in the parking lot than there was the play on the course.

As Horschel stated, he and Fowler had a good laugh about it and didn’t take too much offense to the sudden departure of spectators and media. He even made a self-deprecating joke about his fame relative to Fowler’s.

“Basically, it was 50 people watching us. Rickie has probably 45 of them that live in San Diego,” Horschel quipped, via the Golf Channel. “I’ve got five, and just because I won the FedEx Cup and they still don’t even know who I am.”

But when the golfers spoke seriously about Woods, both praised him for gutting it out as long as he did considering the severe back spasms he was experiencing. Horschel was even picking up Tiger’s tee and retrieving his ball from the hole to spare Woods the pain of bending over.

“He toughed it out a lot more than anyone else, than any other playing competitor, they would have dropped off earlier, but he’s a fighter, he wants to get the reps in, he wants to play well, and he kept trying to play through it, hoping that it would loosen up,” said Horschel, via Eye on Golf.

“Obviously, he was not able to jump around and do jumping jacks or anything like that, but he was ginger at times, but, no, he wasn’t out there saying his back hurt or anything like that, trying to — he was not making any excuses, he was out there fighting and grinding, you could see that,” Fowler added.