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.