Title: Tiger Woods' absence from Masters greeted mostly with shrugs
Description: AUGUSTA, Ga. — The slow and awkward decay of the powerful aura of Tiger Woods continued here Tuesday on a rain-soaked golfing cathedral that smelled like a damp towel. For the first time in 20 years, Woods will not be here for the Masters, a tournament he has won four times, his virtual ownership of Augusta National symbolizing his decades of dominance. Yet his fellow golfers do not sound relieved. They do not act as if reprieved. They spoke of this giant, haunting presence with neither fear nor reverence. Bill Plaschke Bill Plaschke Bio | E-mail | Recent columns Also Sports scheduling requires all the right moves Sports scheduling requires all the right moves Practice resumes with dry weather at the Masters Practice resumes with dry weather at the Masters Severe weather halts Monday practice at the Masters Severe weather halts Monday practice at the Masters Masters suffering without Tiger Woods Masters suffering without Tiger Woods Tiger Woods will miss Masters after back surgery Tiger Woods will miss Masters after back surgery Their voices were, instead, filled with something that sounded like pity. "He's 38 now, he's an old man," said Jason Day, the media laughing over the fact that this is truly how Woods is perceived. "It's a little sad seeing him hurt." Tiger Woods, old and sad? He is missing the tournament with a bad back, but it is his legacy that is taking a beating this week among younger golfers who clearly view him as an aging, infirm uncle whose absence at the family picnic is a footnote that will be forgotten with the first sack race. "It's a shame … but also with his form running into this week, I don't think people would have said that he was the red-hot favorite as he was in years past," Justin Rose said. "It's a shame."