(Photo via golf.clickon.co)
Augusta, GA – Tis’ the season to be…golfy? Its Masters season, the start of golf’s major season. Something is missing, right?
Tiger Woods announced earlier this week that he would not be competing in this year’s 2016 Masters tournament. And honestly, we weren’t surprised, and not too many people cared.
I still love Tiger Woods despite everything that has happened. He is the most electrifying player we have seen in golf, and will go down as the greatest golfer of all time in my opinion. But, it’s 2016 now. Tiger is older, he’s deteriorating, and he’s rehabbing from yet another surgery. Lets look at what is in store: The Tiger Effect is no more.
During the Tiger Slam years, or the years Tiger dominated the sport (so lets say 1999 to 2006) Tiger Woods was the most influential player on tour. He had all the media and press on him at every tournament. He got in the heads of his competitors. If you were in the final Sunday pairing with Tiger, you were too worried about how well he’s doing, rather than focusing on your own game.
That intimidation is gone. If Tiger plays now, he doesn’t have that effect anymore. He’s still Tiger Woods, but now he’s shown he’s human and that there are dozens of other players on tour than can win majors.
But the Tiger effect has some positives on his competitors. Tiger took some of the annoying press off of the other players, as everyone was focused on Tiger. The press this week is focused on Spieth, Rory, Rickie, Day, and others. If Tiger was here, everyone would be watching him at the range, and would give Spieth and the other room to breathe.
This isn’t 2009 or 2011. The sport did not have Spieth or Day or Rory playing the way they did. Golf became boring, and Tiger was needed for viewership. Tiger is an instigator. He’s been the one that propelled the sport of golf into a sport and not a game; he increased ratings, sponsors, and overall interest in the sport. But no one has benefited off of Tiger’s success more than the sport of golf.
I wish Tiger was playing. I wish Tiger would win every major for the rest of his career. I hope he regenerates into a bigger monster than he was 13 years ago. But the sport of golf doesn’t need Tiger Woods the way they used to.
– M. Fritz