So it was announced today that Elin Woods, Tiger’s striking young [photopress:tiger.jpg,full,alignright]bride, is expecting their first child. No date for the pending arrival was given. That said, having gone through this whole issue myself not long ago (the birth bit, not the winning majors and marrying Swedish bikini models bit), I’d expect the couple waiting until the end of the first trimester to announce the birth.
So what, you say. Well that would place the baby’s arrival, should all things go as planned, in June. That could pose a timing problem for Woods, since the U.S. Open is at Oakmont starting June 11. A Phil Mickelson-type problem. Not that this is likely that big an issue for Tiger; I fully expect he’d just skip the tournament if the baby is due around the same time, without all the fanfare of wearing a beeper. He might even skip it if the baby comes just prior to the tournament. Who can blame him?
Tim Finchem might. Finchem can’t be pleased Tiger is skipping the Hawaiian tournaments again, as is Mickelson. Woods probably won’t play until San Diego, follow by playing the next week in Arizona, and then skip Pebble and show up again at Riviera.
Around the time the baby is expected, I’d anticipate Woods could sit out the entire month of June, maybe returning in Michigan for a British Open warmup at the start of July.
The chance that Woods might play a light tournament schedule isn’t going to help Finchem sell the much maligned Fedex Cup series. And if Tiger sits out weeks on end — which is his right as an independent contractor — and Mickelson decides to sit out from August on, then Finchem’s notion of a playoff is doomed to fail.
Even without the baby, Tiger is pretty busy these days. And he’ll have to keep his eye on that real estate development project, um, I mean golf course, that he’s building in Dubai.