Nick Watney

Without the return of Tiger, a new PGA Tour season begins

Bill Haas, Max Homa and Harold Varner III have something in common at the Safeway Open.

They were fill-ins for Tiger Woods.

Another PGA Tour season begins Thursday at Silverado in what was billed as the return of Tiger Woods, right up until the point that Woods decided his game was "vulnerable" and not where it needed to be for him to compete. The announcement at the start of the week spoiled the plans of the Safeway Open to make the golf course — and not the vineyards — the place to be.

Woods was going to play the pro-am on Wednesday with Stephen Curry, the two-time MVP for the Golden State Warriors. Then, he was to be in the same group as...