Golf's biggest draw is a problem for the game, but will it keep you from watching?
The weekend is upon you, the snow has melted, the birds are chirping. You’ve dusted off your clubs, and the Masters is on the way. All is right with the world.
Or is it? Tiger Woods announced that he had back surgery earlier this week, and, for the first time in 20 years, Woods will not be teeing it up in a quest to once again claim another green jacket.
Augusta National Chairman Billy Payne expressed his deep regret that Woods won’t be competing. Ticket prices have tumbled without Tiger stalking the fairways or punching out from the pine straw. Every time Tiger enters the field, it’s good for golf. He brings ratings, galleries, and casual fans to the game. Now, he’s got everyone wondering if he can come back, this season — or ever — in his visionquest to top Jack Nicklaus as the golfer with the most Majors.
What does it mean for Tiger? He’s got a lot of rehabbing ahead of him, and a lot of thinking to do. Does he still need to be built like a free safety? Does he need to swing so hard on every shot? Does he need to keep up the wall of invincibility to maintain a competitive edge? This all will play out over time, and will lead to much more hyperventilating by golf writers and broadcasters with every putt he hits, every wedge he hits, every step he makes in his return to the game.
But what does it mean to you? You may be devastated by the news and can’t bear to watch this year’s Masters broadcast. You may be bracing yourself for the inevitable “Tiger Still in Bed. Scott, Day, Spieth Tied at Top.” Sunday morning headline.
Nobody wants Tiger to be hurt, nobody in their right mind could believe that the game is better without him in it. He won five times last year and he will be missed. But will it stop you from enjoying the PGA Tour and the Majors this year? Will it prompt you to turn off the TV and get out on the course more?
Tell us how you intend to fill your golf obsession without Tiger in the game for the foreseeable future.