NAPA, Calif. -- 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 Phil Mickelson and defending champion Emiliano Grillo for the opening two rounds.Varner took over as the pro in Currys group, with both going to college in North Carolina (Varner at East Carolina, Curry at Davidson).Got to thank Tiger, Varner said. If it wasnt for Tiger, I wouldnt be here. I had a good time.Haas is a six-time winner on the PGA Tour. One of those victories was at Congressional for the AT&T National where Woods was the host.As for Homa?The former Cal star made it back to the PGA Tour and was an alternate for the Safeway Open. He got into the tournament when Woods withdrew. Homa tweeted later that day, Thanks Tiger. Next time we hang out, dinners on me. Get back out here soon plz. Sincerely, Your biggest fan.In the meantime, the 2016-17 season begins without him.MICKELSON RIDING HIGH: Mickelson has played 24 times in 35 weeks this year, and the 46-year-old was full of energy when he arrived at the Safeway Open. Attribute that to the Ryder Cup, were Lefty was the vocal leader for the Americans and turned in the top performance on the final day of an American victory. He made 10 birdies and needed them all for a halve against Sergio Garcia.Mickelson hasnt won since 2013, but that team victory at Hazeltine filled a void.Im still on an emotional high, and even though Ive been running around this last week, my energy level is up and Im optimistic about having a good week, Mickelson said. I love the golf course and the feel. Its in California and Im excited to play.The first tournament of the new season is also the last tournament for Mickelson this year.THE COMEBACK: One player dressed head-to-toe in Nike has chosen the Safeway Open to return from a back injury.And yes, Nick Watney is playing.Watney had a herniated disc and last played at Torrey Pines in January. Instead of surgery, he opted to take eight months off for rest and therapy. He began chipping and putting in August. His back specialist put him on what amounted to a pitch count so he wouldnt overdo. Watney was excited to be back on the tour, and several players did a double take when they saw him head to the practice range Wednesday. It had been a long time.THE SHOW: Curry brought some star power to the pro-am, and he put on a show with a birdie on his final hole.But the biggest shot came from Varner.Someone set up a makeshift basketball goal in the bleachers, and Curry and Varner took turns heaving shots into the grandstand at the hoop. None came particularly close until Varner let one fly and banked it in.I dont know if he was really trying, Varner said.THE ROOKIES: The players who make their PGA Tour debuts as card-carrying members can seek inspiration from the defending champion.A year ago, Grillo won the Web.com Tour Championship, and two weeks later began his PGA Tour career with a playoff victory at Silverado. He wound up making it to the Tour Championship and finishing 11th in the FedEx Cup.The previous two winners since the tour went to a wraparound season in 2013 also reached the Tour Championship -- Jimmy Walker and Sang-moon Bae. Ultra Boost Baratas España . -- Former San Diego Chargers safety Paul Oliver was found dead at his Atlanta-area home Tuesday night, and a medical examiner said Wednesday that the ex-player committed suicide. Ultra Boost España Baratas . They hope to persuade the other team owners and commissioner Roger Goodell to put pressure on Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to drop the nickname they find offensive. "Given the way the meeting transpired," Ray Halbritter, an Oneida representative and leader of the "Change the Mascot Campaign," said Wednesday, "it became somewhat evident they were defending the continued use of the name. http://www.ultraboostbaratas.es/ . The team says the Spain international has a muscle pull in his right leg. Barcelona hosts third-division side Cartagena in the return leg of their round-of-32 tie after winning their first meeting 4-1. Ultra Boost Baratas Rebajas . PETERSBURG, Fla. Ultra Boost Rebajas .com) - The Calgary Flames aim to bounce back from their first regulation home loss of the campaign on Friday night when they host a Detroit Red Wings club that they swept in three meetings a season ago. The Way-Too-Early Top 25 rankings for next season in college basketball have been updated, and now that rosters are beginning to crystallize, its time to get familiar with each team. Weve already touched on the incoming freshmen to know, the future stars of reality TV,?the top NBA prospect?and each teams defining song. Now we look at the players who can lead, the ones who might someday become head coaches.?1. Duke Blue Devils: Matt Jones The designated dirty-work guy of Dukes 2014-15 national title run has spent most of his career being overshadowed by the Blue Devils increasingly terrifying collection of future NBA talents. He doesnt mind in the least. Now a rising senior, Jones is a consummate leader: selfless, understated and reliable. -- Eamonn Brennan2. Villanova Wildcats: Kris Jenkins If coaching is a learned trait, then Jenkins already has a leg up on the competition. His mother, Felicia, was a successful college coach at Division II Benedict College and is now a high school coach. His guardian, Nate Britt, Sr., not only helped his son, Nate Britt, and Jenkins succeed in summer-league ball, he once turned his sons soccer team from a ragtag bunch of community players into an undefeated travel squad. -- Dana ONeil3. Kentucky Wildcats: Dominique Hawkins Coaching in 2016 requires a disciplined demeanor. So many egos to manage. Hawkins would not break under that pressure. Hes a reserve for a Kentucky team thats recruited some of the most talented players in America. Hawkins never complained about his role as younger players earned minutes over him. He just established an example for others to follow in the locker room. Hawkins understands the game, hes competed against the best and hes always focused on the goals of the team. Thats a great foundation for any coach. -- Myron Medcalf4. Kansas Jayhawks: Tyler Self He knows all the dramatic game stories and likely has watched the film of his dad taking Oral Roberts, Tulsa, Illinois and the Jayhawks to the postseason. Self could be one of those kids who is adamantly opposed to following in his dads footsteps. Or maybe hes counting down the days until graduation when Bill Self could hire him in an entry-level position and he begins the long road to becoming a head coach. -- C.L. Brown5. Virginia Cavaliers: London Perrantes Just watch him play and youll see why. Tony Bennetts floor leader just thinks the game and makes the correct play the majority of the time. Hes the true quarterback of the team, and is an extension of Bennett on the court. This one is a no-brainer. -- Jeff Goodman6. North Carolina Tar Heels: Joel Berry The end of Marcus Paiges career was a farewell to one of the great that guy will probably be an awesome coach one day players of the past decade. Berry isnt the no-brainer Paige would have been for this category, but he is an insightful, and incisive, floor general in his own right. Failing that, [Theo Pinsons postgame press conferences would be amazing. -- Brennan7. Oregon Ducks: Phil Richmond So what if the redshirt junior and walk-on hasnt played much? His father is Mitch Richmond, who was a six-time NBA All-Star. Pop even played for Ducks head coach Dana Altman in junior college and at Kansas State, where Altman was an assistant. In other words, Phil was schooled in good hoops. And before he was a walk-on, Phil was a manager, which is about the same as being a basketball coaching intern. -- ONeil8. Wisconsin Badgers: Zak Showalter Pedigree matters in coaching. The sons of successful coaches arent guaranteed successful careers on the sidelines, but their knowledge of the game often boosts their chances. Showalters father, Steve Showalter, turned Germantown High School (Germantown, Wis.) into a powerhouse that won three consecutive state championships from 2012 through 2014. He also played for Bo Ryan at UW-Platteville. Zak Showalter (7.5 PPG) is a good two-way player for a Badgers team that will demand a greater contribution from him during his senior season. Coaching would be a natural progression for the veteran after his career ends. -- Medcalf9. Xavier Musketeers: Myles Davis Davis is already a coach on the floor for Chris Mack. He led the Musketeers in assists last season with 4.1 per game and ranked fourth in the Big East in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.2. And lets talk pedigree for a minute: Hes the cousin of former Pittsburgh guards Brandon and Brevin Knight. Davis knows the nuances of the game; hes ready to be on a sideline near you when his playing days are done. -- Brown10. Michigan State Spartans: Lourawls Tum Tum Nairn All you need to do is meet Tum Tum once to see why hell be a great coach someday. Hes got an outgoing, infectious personality in which hes almost always upbeat. He knows the game, and would be a fantastic recruiter sometime down the line. -- Goodman11. Indiana Hoosiers: Collin Hartman Hartman is undersized against most forwards and outrun by most wings. Yet, he has thrived at Indiana. Why? He can shoot it, sure, but mostly he grasps the nuances of the game -- angles, positioning, timing -- in ways few college players can. Throw in an inherent understanding of advanced analytics, and that sounds like a pretty good coach to us. -- Brennan12. Arizona Wildcats: Kobi Simmons Odds are the sensational freshman will be busy playing when his college career ends, but the highly sought-after point guard didnt just turn heads because he left high school as the all-time leading scorer (more than 2,000 points). He also led his team to more than 100 wins, two state titles and four championship game appearances. Thats a guy who knows how to win as much as he knows how to play. -- ONeil13. Louisville Cardinals: Quentin Snider As the world crumbled around his program folllowing a sex-for-pay scandal, Snider never surrendered his poise.dddddddddddd Thats a critical trait for any coach. He made gains in his second season and evolved into a reliable weapon for a strong Louisville team. He also earned a spot on the all-ACC academic team for the second consecutive season. In 2016-17, Snider will add the role of team captain -- quarterback of our team, Rick Pitino recently told reporters -- and most expect the junior to handle those duties with ease. Hes in a tough situation due to the drama that surrounds the Cardinals. But this experience will help him if he faces challenges as a coach in the future. -- Medcalf14. Purdue Boilermakers: Spike AlbrechtSpike Albrecht has yet to play a game for the Boilermakers, but the Michigan transfer was a two-time captain with the Wolverines and made the 2013 all-Final Four team. Hes expected to step into the starting lineup at Purdue, which could use some stability at point guard. The 5-foot-11 guard has overachieved throughout his playing career, which tends to make for the best leaders. -- Brown15. West Virginia Mountaineers: Tarik Phillip The senior guard, who originally hails from Brooklyn, has a high basketball IQ and also is really good with the young kids on the team. He possesses quality leadership, and would be a quality coach someday. -- Goodman16. Gonzaga Bulldogs: Przemek Karnowski After a November back injury, Karnowski spent pretty much all of the 2015-16 season in street clothes on the bench ... which means he already has a year of coaching experience on his resume! (Thats totally how coaching works, right?) -- Brennan17. UCLA Bruins: Bryce Alford In the Kevin Bacon scheme of things, Alford is only one step removed from Bob Knight, a guy who knew a thing or two about coaching. And, of course, Alfords father, Steve, pretty much has made a lifetime on the basketball court. Granted, Steves run at UCLA hasnt been easy, partially complicated by coaching Bryce, but there again is another lesson for Bryce down the road. -- ONeil18. Maryland Terrapins: Melo Trimble Trimble returns to Maryland as one of the best players in the country. Few competitors can match his ability to slash and score. But this is a season that will force Trimble to play a more vocal role in the locker room. Thats not something hes had to do in recent years because he was surrounded by vocal leaders, such as Rasheed Sulaimon and Robert Carter. Thats the only missing component for a potential future coach and young man who has managed talented rosters, on the court, throughout his career at Maryland. A more assertive Trimble could mature into a great coach one day. -- Medcalf19. Saint Marys Gaels: Emmett Naar Naar is by far the most important player on the Gaels roster. He already sees the game on a different level than most as he led the team in scoring and assists last season. When a play needs to be made, Saint Marys turns to Naar to deliver. Those same leadership qualities would serve him well if he were the one in a suit and tie diagramming a play late in a close game. -- Brown20. Creighton Bluejays: Isaiah Zierden Has a great basketball mind, sees things others dont, knows how to manipulate the game. Plus, he is the son of a coach -- so he knows the life. -- Goodman21. Rhode Island Rams: E.C. Matthews Rhodys do-everything star guard would have been the obvious choice for this award last offseason, if only for his comprehensive -- and defense-oriented -- understanding of the game. After a season-ending injury in the 2015-16 opener, Matthews was forced to spend a year looking at, in his own words, a different side of things -- the coaching side.?-- Brennan22. Cincinnati Bearcats:?Troy Caupain In a lot of ways, the senior-to-be already has been a coach for the Bearcats. Through the turmoil of Mick Cronins illness and absence, Caupains steadying presence was part of the reason that Cincinnati soldiered on without missing so much as a beat. Caupains numbers have improved every year, his scoring and assists going up while the turnovers shrink backwards. -- ONeil23. Florida State Seminoles:?Xavier Rathan-Mayes Rathan-Mayes will return to a loaded Florida State squad that should rise in the ACC. His leadership will prove critical to the young roster. He boasts that rare combination of aggressiveness and selflessness. He averaged 11.8 PPG, a drop from the previous season, after freshmen stars Malik Beasley (15.8 PPG) and Dwayne Bacon (15.6 PPG) arrived last year. But he also finished 11th in assist rate in league play, per KenPom.com, and reduced his turnovers by nearly one per game from the previous season. Florida State adds elite prospect Jonathan Isaac this season. So Rathan-Mayes will again defer in some situations. He doesnt seem to mind. Every good coach needs that personality. -- Medcalf24.?Connecticut Huskies: Jalen Adams Sophomore guard Jalen Adams seems to be the kind of player who could emulate coach Kevin Ollies career. Adams may never lead the Huskies in scoring, but he has a knack for being in the right place. Need any proof, ask Daniel Hamilton. The two briefly argued over who should inbound the ball with 0.8 seconds trailing Cincinnati by three in triple overtime. Adams won the discussion, and promptly hit the buzzer-beating 3-pointer from 70 feet to force a fourth overtime. -- Brown25. Syracuse Orange: Matthew Moyer Im not sure Ive come across anyone as outgoing as Moyer -- the sweet-shooting wing who will be a freshman this season -- in a while. Moyer is unfazed going up to anyone, and thats a trait that is often a major asset in the coaching ranks. -- Goodman ' ' '