Welcome Back, Tiger. From: The Golf World

Brian WagnerCorrespondent IFebruary 22, 2009

Tiger is (and the sports world) is rejoicing on top of hills from Pebble Beach to the Old Course at St. Andrews. And for good reason.

Ever since his epic win in the US Open at Torrey Pines last June, Tiger Woods has been out of commission, while recovering from ACL surgery. And boy, did we miss him.

Once arriving on the Tour in 1997, Tiger has transcended the game in every dynamic. The power. The accuracy. The athlete. The business.

But mostly, the dominance. 

Tiger Woods has made golf exciting again in the past ten years. While growing up in a golf family and as an avid golfer myself, Tiger was the first and only golfer I latched onto as a fan. He’s an idol of mine and epitomized the perfect professional athlete.

Looking at the business angle, this return means everything. In the past eight/nine months, all the tournaments have been Tiger-free.

And the tournaments don’t want to be Tiger-free.

I’m probably the millionth person to say it, but that’s just what Tiger has done for the sport.

(Maybe the other tour players are fine with Tiger’s absences for their own sake, but nobody else enjoys it. And I mean NOBODY else.)

Tiger creates the storylines and individually brings golf commercialization to a new level.

It might be safe to say that the people who are the happiest with this announcement are the tournaments and their major sponsors.

Accenture is sponsoring the World Match Play Championships this upcoming weekend; and in prime position to have booming ratings with Tiger now ready to hit the links again.

I’ll have to say, his absence sure flew by quickly. I was able to “resort” to watching college and professional football, and committing to new things.

Can I say that I perfected Ernie Els’ smooth swing or Aaron Baddeley’s textbook putting stroke? No.

But I did dream I was beating Tiger Woods in the 2013 Masters. That’s just the way it goes.

That also means that I didn’t watch a tournament in the past eight months with the same passion that I do when Tiger is in contention, or even playing for that matter. Does that have something to do with Tiger personally? In case I haven’t stressed it enough, yes.

It’s simple. When Tiger plays, I watch, learn, follow, and cheer. When he’s not. I watch. As a young sports fan, that’s a big difference, and it means everything. 

When looking at Tiger’s return from a fan’s point of view, it is amazingly important. Aside from the few “die-hard” golf fans in our world today, Tiger Woods’ return will mean a lot more people will be watching golf on Sundays.

There is no doubt that professional golf has hit a slight dip in ratings and national interest, without Tiger Woods competing.

Honestly, I can’t even tell you who won last year’s British Open. Or PGA Championship. Or the FedEx Cup.

And frankly, I don’t care. I am a fan of golf; but without Tiger Woods in the picture, I am not afraid to admit the fact that I am just a little less interested. Check that.

A lot less interested.

But, those days of boring, mundane golf are over. Tiger is back. Golf is back on SportsCenter. And suddenly, the grass looks a little greener and the holes a little bigger.

It sure sounds sweet with Tiger back, don’t you think?

So, welcome back, Tiger. We love you.


The world.