Tiger is back! If you have watched the sporting news at all, you will have heard that Tiger Woods has announced that he is playing at the Quicken Loans National tournament at Congressional.
Tiger Woods’ announcement of his return comes as a bit of a surprise, but not unwelcomed by the PGA Tour.
The ticket sales historically improve when Tiger Woods is in the field. History has shown that Woods has a tremendous economic impact for the surrounding area and the tournament itself! This is not unusual and it is a strong possibility that this week’s tournament at Congressional will feel the same surge of support.
Woods has star power in golf. He is the player people love because he is the best golfer in the world. Or love to hate him because of his elitist attitude and poor life choices. Or are fascinated by his ability to make miracle golf shots look easy! Regardless of how you perceive Tiger’s return, it is good for golf.
So what is behind his early return to golf? There is no question that he misses competing. His competitive nature is unmatched and even overpowers the likes of Michael Jordan, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, or Harry Vardon.
Woods works harder than his competition and makes no apologies for his successes. He is a true competitor.
It could be that ticket sales at the Quicken Loans were slumping. The draw for the big names in golf is now experiencing global expansion. Reports indicated that the US Open and The Masters viewing were down significantly compared to years past. Could the slumping number of viewers be a direct result of Tiger Woods not playing; it is quite possible. He is golf’s biggest draw since 1996 and it is unlikely to change over the next few years.
Reports indicate that the main charity for this PGA event is the Tiger Woods Foundation. Could this be the reason he elected to return to golf? Or does it really matter why he is returning?
Tiger Woods is the face of the PGA Tour. When he plays, viewership rises.
Unfortunately for the Tour, no one has stepped up to replace him. Currently, Jordan Spieth is rising to the top; however it will take a few years of success to replace the biggest draw in golf. Even now, with all Woods’ has accomplished, many, including this writer, still consider Jack Nicklaus to be the greatest of all time.
Regardless, Tiger is back! In short order he will be vying for championships and trying to work his way back as the world’s number one golfer. Staying healthy will be his first goal; if he does he will be poised to capture his fourth Claret Jug!
The Grateful Golfer, Pundit Arena.