Monday, June 13, 2011

Is It Still 'Major' Without Tiger Woods?

Listen, I don't want to talk about this guy just as much as you probably don't want to read about him, but can we really avoid the fact that the best golfer of our generation isn't going to be at the U.S. Open for the first time since 1993? No, of course we can't. We must talk about this major championship and the fact that for the third time in the last 12 majors, Tiger will not be announced on the first tee come Thursday.

We must also look at the fact that when Tiger isn't in the field, golf still suffers. It does. I wish it wouldn't. I wish regular golf fans still cared about Bubba Watson and Martin Kaymer, that they thought watching Dustin Johnson hit a drive was as cool as I think it is, but they won't. That'll never end until there really is the next one that takes this game by storm and gets even the people in Iceland talking about some guy with an incredible golf swing and irreplaceable presence is standing behind a Titleist and everyone stops.

But the question I want to bring up is, does a major championship with Tiger still feel major, or is there just something missing about it?

I'll say this, I want to say no, but it's really hard not to. Did you watch the Players Championship? It was drab, and I love golf. I hate when tournaments don't have Tiger in them, because it gets people (*points at self*) questioning the legitimacy of a championship. Just think when Padraig Harrington won all those majors when Tiger was hurt and returning. Sure, he has three majors, but they always felt a little less special than when guys like Phil Mickelson claimed their first Masters. That's probably not fair, but it's fact.

I love when Tiger is there because it gives lovers and haters a place to stand. People can root for him to implode or root for him to win, and there is no in between. Tiger is good for golf whether you like him or not, and him not being at this national championship is tough for the game.

The more Tiger continues to slip, the more that won't matter as much, but for now, people are still waiting, hoping for a comeback, and this is just another tournament that won't happen at. And for golf, that's a really ugly bogey.

Getty Images


seak said...

No sporting event feels as big if it's missing a primary star who should be there.

If Lebron or D-Wade or Dirk or hadn't played in these finals, they would have lost something.

Cam said...

I have a question that a mate asked me.
Do you think Tiger will be watching the tournament on tv like the rest of us? At first I thought of course he will be, but the more I think about it, maybe he wont.
He doesnt really strike me as the type of guy to sit on the couch watching golf.

Mark said...

QUOTE - "I wish regular golf fans still cared about Bubba Watson and Martin Kaymer, that they thought watching Dustin Johnson hit a drive was as cool as I think it is, but they won't."

Interesting distinction from REAL GOLF FANS - though I'm not sure if it was intentional.

Yes, real golf fans will be interested and regard the winner as just as legitimate because they love the game, not just Tiger.

What has happened to Tiger is just a typical, cyclical phenomenon that we see in all sports. At some point, for whatever reason, mental or physical, he isn't going to be competitive. I think it's a little disrespectful to the field to suggest otherwise.

I understand the need to have the debate though!

Steve Cook said...

While Tiger is reinventing his image, he might as well reinvent his hairline. He seems to be losing his hair and is in the rough when it comes to his hair line. So Tiger, while you are retooling your image, why not let the Density Doctor, (DR Brett Bolton), in Ft Lauderdale re seed your hair line! There is no body better in the business. Dr Bolton scores an eagle on every patient if not a hole in one! My name is Steve Cook, I am the world greatest (non medical) hair loss expert! Just check out these ONE surgery results at WOW! We need to get Dr Bolton a green jacket!
Have a great hair day!

David said...

What a ridiculous question.
It's the US Open, it doesn't matter who is playing or not.
Otherwise Tiger would have won everyone he played in.
I'm am so tired of people that ask STUPID questions, regardless of the context.

PhilUK said...

Not the only time you've got this wrong.. Woods was in the field when Harrington won the Open in 2007.

Yeah Tiger wasn't around for his '08 wins but who cares?! He'd broken his duck.

suzybel56 said...

Sorry, I don't agree. It is refreshing to be able to watch a golf tournament without the camera constantly flipping to Tiger - whether he is birdieing, bogeying, picking his nose or dropping an "F" bomb. I like to see other golfers, really I do. I for one WILL NOT miss him! Golf will go on, the world will still revolve & his caddie will be paid!

Anonymous said...

Sorry but Golf apparently is not Golf Without Tiger...Take a look at the Galleries. Golf is interesting to me and you because we play golf and know how difficult those shots are. But to the average person this is a second tier game without Tiger Woods.

Bostrander said...

Woods absence has nothing to do with the 'major' designation. Majors are determined by the PGA , the degree of difficulty and the player selection and importance placed on the match by the golfing world. Woods is merely one player and though previously dominant ,he no longer has the impetus to make an impact whether it's temporary or permanent Niclaus still reigns supreme esp in representing what's moral and honorable in a champion

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