Pro Vision – August 2008

What does Tiger’s injury mean for the game of golf, the remaining majors, and the Ryder Cup. Should he serve as Azinger’s assistant captain at Valhala?

I don’t think his injury will hurt the game of golf, I think that some of the younger players will be able to shine, all the cameras won’t be following Tigers every move. It will be refreshing to watch young players such as Anthony Kim play golf rather than the cameras on Tiger standing under a tree eating an apple.

Tiger’s injury has no effect on the game other than the commercial side of it. Injuries are a fact of life in sports and no player is bigger than the game itself. I am sure the interest from some of the newer golf fans will wane, but it’s up to the announcers and the press to do their job and cover the event with the same amount of enthusiasm as they do when Tiger is in the field. I personally thought they did a horrible job at The British Open Championship.

Don’t get me wrong, Tiger is the best by far and when he is in the field it is naturally more exciting. But golf is still golf when he is not there.

I look for an exciting PGA Championship. I think there are better choices for an assistant captain for the Ryder Cup. Let’s give Tiger the time off to recover and spend some quality time with his family. I look for him to come back stronger with even more desire once his leg is healed. The game will still be there.

Regarding Tiger Woods injury and what it means for the PGA Tour and professional golf:

1) His absence will definitely have an impact on television ratings because the occasional golfer/non-golfer will not watch.

2) Other touring professionals will step up and gain confidence during his absence. This will make the tour much more competitive when he returns next year.

3) I respect Tiger’s sentiment that serving as Paul Azinger’s assistant captain would serve as a distraction. He has never been one to upstage the importance of an event and I agree with him that his presence at the Ryder Cup would serve as a significant distraction to those participating. Tiger may be pursuing history, but he has never placed himself above the game.

4) The British Open turned out to be extremely exciting, I expect the same for the PGA Championship. The true golfer, who understands and appreciates the difficult circumstances present in winning a major, will watch and enjoy.

Hopefully we will see some new players emerge. Especially younger players who want to challenge Tiger and Phil. The Tour needs young blood, especially good young aggressive players like A. Kim and Hunter Mahan. These guys are already rich, they have nothing to lose, they should flag hunt on every hole. Try to shoot 59. Many new players seem to be complacent because they make a lot of money finishing 20th every week. The need to win is not as important as it was in the old days.

Since Tiger will not play in the Ryder cup this year, I don’t think he should be present. Captain Azinger needs to use this match as “US against the World”, and no one gives us a chance to win. He should play this card to the hilt. This should get the players fired up to play. You know that Zinger would love to beat Faldo in the worst way!

Now we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief, knowing that “Chicken Little” got it all wrong this time. The sky is not falling and the game of golf will survive without Tiger for a few more months. We had our first “Tigerless Major” and guess what, it was pretty exciting. The same guy who won last year, when Tiger finished 12th, won this year. Amazing! Major’s have a way of creating their own excitement and I’m sure the PGA will not disappoint. Tiger’s already said he not going to be at this year’s Ryder Cup, he’ll be home rehabbing his knee. That’s OK, I for one will still be watching as I’m sure most of you will. Sure without Tiger golf is not quite as exciting, no one said it would be, but hey, how about that Chez Reavie. Chez who!

Next Month’s Question:

Harry Zimmerman from the Grand Cypress Academy of Golf wants to know: Who’s the Best and Worst TV commentator or analyst?