Does Golf Without Tiger Woods Sound Good to You? Don't Be So Sure

Ron FurlongAnalyst IIJune 9, 2010

ST. ANDREWS, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 17:  Tiger Woods of the USA tees off on the 18th hole during the final round of the 134th Open Championship at Old Course, St Andrews Golf Links, July 17, 2005 in St Andrews, Scotland.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Justin Rose won his first PGA tournament this past weekend. Exciting, huh? Good for him. Nice English chap. Jolly good.

Zach Johnson won the week before at the Colonial in Texas. That's nice. Good Iowa kid.

Who else has won this year? Jason Day. OK. Jason Bohn. Nice. Hunter Mahan, Ben Crane, Steve Stricker. Are these names doing anything for you?

Do we have any guys who have won more than once, you ask? Jim Furyk and Ernie Els is the answer.

How many times have they won?

Twice each.

When is the last time they won?

Oh, over two months ago, eh?

Ok. So where is the drama of someone taking this sport by the teeth? Where is the guy with four or five wins? Where is the catch me if you can mentality?

On Sunday I was watching the Memorial. Closed my eyes for a moment and when I opened them two hours later golf was over. I didn't even check to see who had won until SportsCenter that night. Why? Because deep down, it didn't really matter to me. Any one of five or six guys could have won. Didn't really matter who. I like watching golf because it's golf. I still like watching it, but the 'who won this week?' mentality doesn't do it for me anymore.

Golf is missing its zing. Its drama. Its domination. Parity is going to kill golf.

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Not kill it as in it will be gone. No. It will kill it by sucking the energy and life out of it. Golf will leave the city and go racing back to the suburbs for cover. We'll transform golf back to 1978 and have to start all over again.

Some may like that. Not me. And certainly not the television networks and sponsors that cover the PGA Tour. Golf fans need someone to dominate; to root for and, just as much, to root against.

And network TV needs their cash cow back.

All sports are boring if they have no dominant force. No team or player to love or hate. If there were no dynasties in sports, sports would not exist the way they do now. They would be nowhere near as popular or the multi-billion dollar business that many of them have become. Justin Rose would not have taken a $1,080,000 check to the bank on Monday without the dominance of a certain golfer.

Answer this, if you will, golf fan: Is it more exciting for golf to have someone win six tournaments in a row, or to have six different guys win once each? Answer truthfully.

Well, I hope you like the second option, because that's where we're at.

Some think this is good for golf. Young guns, they like to call them. Trust me, parity is good for nothing. Parity kills sports. Seventy young guns who all have the same game are not going to save golf. Not unless one of those young guns steps up and starts burying the others and eating them for lunch.

No one will care and no one will watch.

Until that happens (a young gun stepping out of the shadow of all the others), golf needs its dominator back. And it needs him quickly.

And if you think a certain left-hander can be the dominator, think again. Phil Mickelson, who turns 40 a week from today, did win the Masters. But, other than that, he has been far from grabbing the game by his teeth. Twelve tournaments entered; one win, four top-10 finishes. Very nice. Not dominating.

Both Mickelson and Woods like Pebble Beach and know how to win there. And Woods owns St. Andrews. So, who knows, maybe we'll get somebody to grab this game by the teeth yet this summer.

But they better hurry, summer will gone before you know it.

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