With the return of Tiger Woods to the PGA Tour a few months ago, Woods has shown how much his presence means to this game. Since his return, Woods has doubled television ratings and has brought more people back to the game of golf which includes some of the students here at M-A who are suddenly interested in a sport that wouldn’t usually make them glued to the screen.
Woods’ recent return may match-up with the M-A golf team which has a surprising 22 players on the team this year. Yes, you could make the case that people go play for the golf team for PE credit because it is one of the least physically taxing sports, but one could also make the case that Woods’ mere presence is causing a stir especially for a younger demographic.
Junior Jake Andrew stated emphatically, “Tiger Woods is one of the most inspiring athletes and greatest champions not only in golf, but in the history of sports. He used to be unbeatable. I hope he can get back to that form. Tiger might be the greatest athlete in the last 20 years.”
Without Woods, golf wouldn’t be anywhere close to the progress it has made in the past 20 years. Woods has brought millions, possibly even billions of dollars to the game. Woods also completely changed the game as millions of new golfers took up the sport, which caused more courses to be built, and diversified the game which helped lessen its view as a sport for the wealthy as Woods’s success inspired kids from all walks of life to take up the game.
Junior Grant Henry said, “It is also cool to have someone that you identify with. Tiger Woods has a personality that is like no other golfer ever.”
Woods’ impact is so huge that some students couldn’t even take their eyes off the screen when Woods was coming down the stretch at the Valspar Championship, a weekend in which March Madness was in full-swing. Senior Leo Tuchman agreed, “I have a few friends who only watch golf when Woods is on. People want to see history made and they want to see him back to his normal self which is exciting. John Gardner (Veteran M-A Chronicle writer) is the perfect example for those who have come back to golf because of Tiger’s return.”
Tuchman added, “I think he will win again if his back can hold up. He is playing at an elite level and inspiring people to play golf. At 42 years old, people are jumping back on the bandwagon. Hopefully he can play for as long as possible as his four back surgeries have really taken a toll on his body.”
With ratings skyrocketing once again, golf is back on the upswing. Because of the Woods boom in the early 2000s, too many golf courses were built and recently several courses in this area have even begun to close down such as Roddy Ranch, San Geronimo, Stevenson Ranch and even Rancho Canada Golf Club. Hopefully, with Woods back, golf can come back to being a focal point in a crowded sporting world.
Tuchman sure hopes so: “[Woods] made golf look cool with his crazy fist-pumps and incredible talent. His play continues to bring more and more people into the sport. The more Tiger Woods is in contention, the more people will watch, which means the more people will come back to playing. Golf needs Tiger.”
The question still looms ahead. What will happen when Woods’ playing days are over? Who knows, but for now Bears, go and cheer on this comeback story that could be one for the ages. If Woods wins the Masters in a week, people are going to start losing their minds. Big Cat is back.