Tiger Woods and The P.G.A Tour: Banking on Forgetfulness

Larry SnarkvilleAnalyst IDecember 25, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - DECEMBER 17:  An image of professional golfer Tiger Woods is seen on an Accenture advertisement December 17, 2009 at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, California. Accenture was the first sponsor to end its sponsorship relationship with Tiger Woods following his car crash last month that led to news of several affairs. Accenture has begun to take down all ads featuring woods who appears in over 80% of their corporate ads.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A month later and still no sign of the world's most recognizable athlete/celebrity.

Where is Tiger Woods?

Working on "being a better father and husband?"

My gut tells me no.

He's in hiding, hoping for us to forget. Hoping that with the forget, we'll forgive. But mostly he's hoping for the forget.

They all are.

Mostly it's been the bloggers and the non-mainstream media who've been hammering away at his formerly pristine image. A few "renegade" tour players have honestly assessed his plight. But most haven't.

Most of the "name" golf media have been extremely reticent on Woods too.

Makes me wonder how tenuous a hold the P.G.A. has on its customers. Makes me wonder how much money they either have obligated out or how much potential they have to lose with his downfall.

In an economy as strapped as it is, how precipitous could the game's fall become without Woods drawing eyeballs?

I have no statistics, no facts to go on, and no inside information as to the what, where, and how. But why can't I speculate?

Why can't I rely on an instinct that up to this point has been pretty on target (like so many others)?

I don't believe for a minute P.G.A. commissioner Tim Finchem's claim that the tour will successfully move forward without Woods. They are petrified of what this year's golf season will devolve into without their meal ticket.

The tour has staked so much in Tiger Woods. And if doesn't make it back soon, the hit's going to be dramatic.

There isn't any "Plan B."

Fingers are crossed and breaths are held, hoping that we'll all forget and that Tiger's on-course rendition of "Redemption Song" will save the day.

Perhaps it will.

But perhaps, like so much around us, the tour grew too fast to even consider a potential contraction.

What if that's indeed what they're about to experience? What if purses are going to drop as a result in decreased revenue?

What then?

How many people stand to lose big-time because of one person's "transgressions?"

When you make a deal with the "devil," these sorts of things can happen.

And it's why a very insightful old club professional once told me, "No one's bigger than the game."

Something I won't forget.