Tiger Woods Impact on Golf
Tiger Woods has been the face of golf through nearly two decades as a professional. No player garners more attention, negative or positive, than the former Stanford star and the golf world is quickly going to have to come to grips with what to do without him.
Tiger turned professional in 1996 and has 106 professional wins with 14 major victories, but since 2009 he only has 11 victories and has won no major championships. His game has been on the decline since that time and now can not seem to stay healthy long enough to compete.
As this week develops, golf is bracing itself for the Player's Championship and what should be a lead in to one of their top tournaments of the year and talking about the top contenders for the week, sports columnists are focusing on whether or not Tiger is going to be there. This is no slight to Woods as he deserves all the accolades he is receiving as one of the best golfers to ever play the game. However, at a certain point you must begin to question what will happen when Tiger finally says no more or more likely Tiger's back says no more.
Rory McIlroy is the current leader on top of the world golf rankings followed by Adam Scott. Woods is ranked in the 10th spot. McIlroy is a clean cut young face at the top of the leaderboard and Adam Scott is the 34 year old Aussie playing some of the best golf in the world. Both men deserve the applause from the golf community, but as long as Tiger's presence lingers around the golf world, neither will ever be the centerpiece of the golf world anytime in the next coming days.
Tiger's presence took the golf world by storm and grew the popularity of the spot nationwide. However, as we have seen with the decline in NASCAR recently, American fans can be a fickle bunch. Before Tiger is officially done, golf needs to find a new golfer to hang their hat on. If they are unable to do so, they will be left with no major superstars in a time where the sports world revolves around them. The NFL has Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and many others. MLB has Justin Verlander, Mike Trout, David Price and many others. The NHL has Alex Ovechkin, Sydney Crosby, and more. Golf has Tiger - for now.
If golf doesn't make a change soon in their marketing efforts and bring a superstar or two forward, all the progress of the last twenty years could be lost with a fickle American fan base. Instead of focusing on writing pieces on the demise of Tiger or the "will he, won't he" be ther stories, the lead stories will be about the actual golf being played on the course.