Earlier today, as reported by the Golf Channel, former number one golfer in the world, Tiger Woods, has announced that he will not be participating in the PGA Championship. This means that he will miss the rest of the 2016 season, which is devastating to the handful of Tiger fans that remain, including myself. The man who redefined the game of golf in the late 1990’s, Tiger is a legend, a hero. His name on the leaderboard is missed every tournament, and the massive gatherings of golf fans miss chanting “Tiger, Tiger.” Speculation surrounds the question of whether he’ll win another major, or even yet, if he’ll ever play again?
Since early 2014, he has had three back surgeries. After his latest back surgery this past year, people have been saying that Tiger should just retire.
What’s the rush? I would love to see him back as much as the next guy, but I want him back 100%. I want to relive the glory days, where the Tiger I grew up watching was fist-pumping his way to the top of every leaderboard… not the Tiger who is wincing in pain after every shot from the fairway or tee. However, since Tiger has been absent, there have been plenty of other players in the spotlight, which still makes for good golf.
As the old saying goes, “Out with the old, in with the new.” Enter Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth. These four young competitors have not only taken over the top of the World Golf Rankings but have been attracting large crowds all over the world. Unfortunately, the older golfers, like Tiger and Phil Mickelson, will not be around forever. As of July 17th, Day is No. 1 in the world golf rankings, while Johnson is No. 2, Spieth is No. 3 and McIlroy is No. 4. When it comes to majors, expect these guys to be towards the top of the leaderboard. Not only are they playing well at a young age, but they make the game exciting… just like Tiger did back in the day.
Woods is no stranger to the spotlight, winning tournaments since 1996. After the dramatic Masters victory in ’97, he seemed invincible. He essentially revived the game of golf, making it not only enjoyable to play but to watch as well.
As we all know, he has made headlines not only on the course but off of it as well. After the cheating scandal, it seemed as if Woods had lost his motivation to win, or better yet, to even compete at a high level again. There will be people who will remember him as a “cheater” or “unloyal,” but for those that have seen him play, they will always remember him as one of the greatest golfers this world has ever seen.
There is no one like Tiger, whether you like it or not. His reactions after a shot, his fist pumps after sinking a putt and simply his presence are some of the key reasons why we need to see him tee up again. Sooner or later, his “mamba mentality” will kick in. Expect Tiger to come roaring back in the 2017 PGA season.
Raised in a competitive family, sports has been the majority of my life. Not only playing but watching as well. Born in Oak Lawn, IL (suburb of Chicago), I tend to have a bias, but I try to keep an open mind. Nonetheless, I enjoy watching and talking sports.