US Open Golf 2011: Why PGA, Golf Fans Need Tiger Woods to Be Great Again

Kyle Vassalo@VassaloBRFeatured ColumnistJune 15, 2011

US Open Golf 2011: Why PGA, Golf Fans Need Tiger Woods to Be Great Again

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    LEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 13: Tiger Woods holds the J.K. Wadley trophy after winning the BMW Championship at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club on September 13, 2009 in Lemont, Illinois. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
    Hunter Martin/Getty Images

    Tiger Woods withdrew from the US Open. He won't be a factor during the tournament, and it's unclear whether or not he will ever be a factor in any major ever again.

    The collapse he suffered in his personal life made him one of the most polarizing figures in the sports world. Some seem to take pleasure in his demise.

    Regardless of your stand on Tiger, the sport and its fans need him to be great again. Here's why.

5. Money

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    PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - MARCH 23:  Tiger Woods thows a one hundred dollar bill into the charity pot on the 17th tee during practice prior to The Players Championship at the TPC at Sawgrass on March 23, 2005 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Richar
    Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

    Money is the number one driver of just about everything in the world. The fans may not care that ratings are in turmoil, but the PGA Tour certainly does.

    Diehard fans watch regardless of who is in the field, while many touch-and-go fans appear to seriously care whether or not Tiger Woods is playing.

    The numbers don't lie. The sport is taking a step backwards financially, which, given the state of the economy, is even worse.

4. Everyone Loves to Watch Greatness

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    SOUTHPORT, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 18:  A young spectator wears a t-shirt wishing Tiger Woods well during the second round of the 137th Open Championship on July 18, 2008 at Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Southport, England.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Imag
    Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

    It doesn't matter what the sport is, or how the player is received. People love to watch a living legend perform. Imagine having another chance to watch Jim Brown, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky or Pele in their prime.

    Tiger was cut down in the midst of his greatness. If he can get past his injuries and recuperate off the course, there is a chance we will all get to see his greatness on display again. 

3. His Absence Cheapens Victories

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    PEBBLE BEACH, CA - JUNE 20:  Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland speaks with the media after winning the 110th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 20, 2010 in Pebble Beach, California.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
    Andrew Redington/Getty Images

    I'm not only talking about his literal absence, as is the case with this year's US Open, but also his figurative absence, as has been the case since turmoil struck his personal life.

    With every win, it's hard not to think of what would have happened if a mentally and physically healthy Tiger were lurking in the field.

    Great players beat other great players when they are at their best. When the potential favorite is less than 100 percent, victory isn't as impressive.

2. People Love to Rally Around a Comeback

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    DENVER - JULY 12:  A fan of the Colorado Rockies sports his rally cap as the Rockies came from behind against the Atlanta Braves during MLB action at Coors Field on July 12, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the Braves 8-7.  (Photo by Doug Pe
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    If Michael Vick can win over the majority of fans after killing man's best friend, Tiger Woods can do it after cheating on his wife.

    Adultery is bad, but hanging and drowning dogs is probably more frowned upon. The difference between Woods and Vick is that Vick rebounded on the football field, whereas Tiger still seems to be adversely affected by his issues.

    If Tiger were to return to dominance, it seems people would be able to let go of what happened years ago on Thanksgiving, and let him move on with his life.

    People screw up. Fans are generally forgiving, and Tiger would be no exception.

1. This Look Is Getting Old

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    PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - MAY 12:  Tiger Woods addresses the media after withdrawing on the ninth hole during the first round of THE PLAYERS Championship held at THE PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 12, 2011 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.  (Pho
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    I'm sick of seeing Tiger Woods look like a puppy that's been neglected and beaten. The Tiger we know and love, the one with his fist clinched and arm raised in victory after another epic performance, needs to make his way back onto the course.

    Fans criticized Tiger for being too emotional on the course. Apparently profanity and jubilation irk some people. It seems as though more people may have a problem with a lifeless, somber Tiger.