The Players Championship begins on Thursday without a recuperating Tiger Woods, and that's just fine with PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem.
Speaking to reporters before the tournament in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Finchem expressed his belief that the sport of golf can survive without its biggest -- if most divisive -- star.
"Well, you know, it's not the first time we haven't had Tiger, with injuries and whatever," Finchem said on Tuesday. "We're kind of used to it."
Woods is recovering from back surgery and is not expected to return to competitive play until summer.
In the meantime, Finchem's thinking goes like this: Without Woods in the field, the focus shifts to young players who could become the next stars of the game. And that could end up helping the tour in the future.
"When Tiger plays, good things happen," the commissioner said. "When he doesn't play, it's fine."