6/10/11 – The Tiger Effect, Part 2

Tiger Woods not playing in the U.S. Open is big news. Not just for the Open, but about Tiger’s future and, to a degree, the immediate future of professional golf. I’m not saying Tiger is bigger than the game, but his impact is unprecedented. Not even Arnold Palmer elevated the game the way Tiger has.

In a sport more driven by its personalities than its play, golf doesn’t have an heir apparent waiting to replace Tiger. Sure, there are plenty of strong candidates, but no one has shown the personality and talent to take over for Tiger as a TV attraction and water cooler topic. In the three years since Tiger won his last major title, the ’08 U.S. Open, no megastar has emerged. Phil Mickelson grabs our attention and then disappears. Bubba Watson goes on record as saying he doesn’t want to be the face of golf.

As for Tiger’s future, we can no longer debate how serious his injuries are. Tiger might skip The Players because he doesn’t really want to play, but he’d never miss a major if he thought he had a remote chance to win. This isn’t an obit of Tiger’s career, but it is a warning.

 

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