A big ticket seller won't be teeing it up for the Notah Begay III Foundation Challenge Wednesday. Tiger Woods officially dropped out Monday due to a back injury. YNN's Andrew Sorensen caught up with Begay to tell us where that leaves the event.
ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. -- The back injury that brought Tiger Woods to his knees at the Barclays Sunday was doubly painful for some in Central New York.
Area golf fans were preparing for the legend to make an appearance at the Notah Begay III Foundation Challenge this week. Founder Notah Begay noted Tiger's withdrawal is a big letdown.
"I had a great talk with Tiger yesterday and I wish him the best and he's just really disappointed that he couldn't be here. He loves the event, he loves the area, he loves Turning Stone Resort and that's one of the main reasons why he comes back every year," Begay said.
Begay spoke with reporters before participating in a sports business panel for students in the run up to Wednesday's challenge. He said with the cost of losing Tiger, there's also an opportunity.
"I think crowds are going to be a little bit more evenly dispersed across the three groups and so I think it's going to be a little bit easier for people to kind of get a view of the player that they want to see," he said.
Begay added that Tiger's absence could also lead to some more sparks flying on the fairway, saying, "It's going to be I think a little bit more wide open and I know that the international team and team Asia are going to want to win this thing because we won it last year."
Gary Woodland is slated to take Tiger's place.
Hopefully the change won't hurt the foundation's cause. The challenge is a fundraiser for Native American childhood diabetes research.
The Notah Begay III Foundation Challenge tees off at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday.