There are few athletes on this planet that transcend their sports. The list includes names such as Michael Jordan, Michael Schumacher, Wayne Gretzky, and Pele. Another name for this list is Tiger Woods and he’s the only one that’s still an active player. These names have huge effects on their associated sports. They push up viewing figures, ticket sales and most importantly, the number of people playing that sport.
On the 9th of March, Tiger Woods declared himself injured. Citing back spasms during the final round at the WGC Cadillac Championship at Doral, Tiger had a poor week and finished a long way behind Patrick ‘the best golfer ever to roam this earth’ Reed. Turned out that the back spasms were, in fact caused by a herniated disk and required surgery. So cue a lot of time out of golf for Tiger.
Tiger missed the first two majors of 2014, the US Masters and the US Open. Now, Tiger is still chasing Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships and time is becoming one of his biggest adversaries, so injury time is not helping matters at all! Then all of a sudden, the golf news channels started going mad as Mr Woods announced his impending return. He announced he’d be playing in the Quicken Loans National, a tournament which Tiger himself hosts. This also suggests that Tiger will be playing in The Open Championship this year. This is huge as Tiger’s last Open victory was at the course it will be played on this year, Royal Liverpool.
Some of the PGA Tour’s biggest stars have been talking on PGATour.com about Tiger’s return and the overwhelming sentiment is that golf needs this man. “Every time he’s in the field, the event is different,” said Keegan Bradley.
“That might not be the right thing to say, but it’s really exciting when he’s out there. We need Tiger. The whole tour needs Tiger and golf needs Tiger.”
Jason Day added: “He’s made the golfing world, and especially professional golf, into what it is today. It’s great to have him back.
“It’s good to get those competitive juices flowing again. There’s nothing quite like tournament golf. He definitely needs to play a tournament before Royal Liverpool.”
“Normally, I don’t watch golf, but I’ll watch when Tiger’s playing,” said Bubba Watson.
“No matter if he misses the cut, no matter if he just finishes middle of the pack, it’s a great thing for golf that he’s back.”
It’s clear to see that even his competitive rivals are glad to see him back. Any golf fan whether you like or loathe the man has to agree that he is essential for the sport. I for one am glad he’s back and hopefully he can add some extra drama to the Open in just a couple of weeks time. Welcome back Tiger.
Photo credit to rantsports.com