Golf no longer needs Tiger Woods

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert

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    Tiger WoodsTiger Woods created the biggest yawn of the international sporting weekend, he’s coming back. Or is it fallback?

    Woods released the news on his website – the European tour picked it up, but not the USPGA site, they didn’t bother – which is a sign of the times.

    He’s back, but a little Tiger goes a long way these days.

    The world’s longest standing number one golfer with 623 weeks, is now ranked an all-time low 21 and plummeting.

    It’s important to place the greatest golfer of them all – Jack Nicklaus – in the pecking order of world number one.

    Official rankings didn’t tee off until April 1986 when the magnificent Nicklaus era was over with a record 18 majors, and 19 runners up – just a few strokes away from 37 majors.

    Woods will never match the “Golden Bear” as a golfer, or a man.

    And that’s what Woods faces this week when he resumes from injury on Thursday at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, at Firestone, where he’s won seven times.

    His credibility is on the line.

    From the time he was three, putting against Bob Hope on the Mike Douglas national television show, to carding 48 through nine holes when he was five, to cracking 80 for the first time aged eight – Woods’ father Earl had carefully jig-sawed his son’s life to become a very special golfer.

    And he achieved that, his son revered right round the world, fawned over wherever he went – he was bigger than golf.

    Earl died of cancer in 2005, and that triggered a different Tiger – a selfish, arrogant, in-your-face competitor, whose popularity began to plummet like his ranking.

    His unsavoury divorce due to serial infidelities was his fault and his business. Sponsors dropping off the band wagon his fault, but sacking his loyal right-hand man Steve Williams shows just how low Woods can go.

    He has zero people skills – it’s his way or the highway.

    The Kiwi caddy has been lugging Woods’ bag for 12 years, winning 13 of his 14 majors, and 63 of his 71 USPGA tour wins with him. They have been rightfully rated the best golfer-caddy combination of all-time.

    And Woods sacked him. It gets worse. While Woods was off tour for months on end once his infidelities and on-going injuries began in tandem in November 2009, he didn’t pay Williams a cent.

    Williams couldn’t hang around forever on the never never so he teamed up recently with Adam Scott, and that peeved Woods – so flick.

    Earl would turn in his grave. He never created this Tiger.

    Now it’s back to some normality.

    His golf this week will be under close scrutiny, with no tournament win in the US since September 2009 – the BMW – and no win anywhere else except Melbourne with the Australian Masters in November 2009 – immediately before his infidelities hit the fan.

    There has never been a longer drought for the 35-year-old, but he may as well get used to it

    The golfing world has shot past him, he’s no longer a champion or a threat, no opponent will ever believe again they are playing for second money.

    And how his peers treat him over the Williams sacking will be interesting. Woods can expect some pretty cutting remarks, and he’ll have no option but to cop them.

    It’s all part of the new deal Woods has cut for himself, but he won’t be able to hack it.

    To him it’s top dog, or nothing. Anything less and Woods will be on his bike. Permanently.

    Would be be missed?

    No, there are far too many really good young golfers who are decent role models for the sport: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Ryo Ishikawa, Matteo Manassero, and Jason Day.

    In the middle age group there are the likes of Luke Donald, Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Paul Casey, Ian Poulter, Martin Kaymer, Camillo Villegas, and the Molinari brothers.

    And the much respected older brigade stand out too: Phil Mickelson, Freddie Couples, Vijay Singh, Steve Stricker, Darren Clarke, Ernie Els, Miguel Angel Jimenez, and Angel Cabrera.

    So golf has more than enough to keep those television cameras rolling, and the deep sub-70s being carded.

    Golf doesn’t need Tiger Woods.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn?t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world?s great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (17)

    • August 1st 2011 @ 7:20am
      Tyger Holt said | August 1st 2011 @ 7:20am | ! Report

      Really? Let’s see advertising dollars and the completely skyrocketing ratings upon his return this week. Whether people are tuning to watch him fail or hoping for a comeback, everybody will be watching! And you don’t put Tom Watson on your list??

      • August 1st 2011 @ 8:38am
        David Lord said | August 1st 2011 @ 8:38am | ! Report

        TH, of course Tom Watson, I was only naming regular PGA tour golfers not Champions tour. There would be at least 20 more in that case, led by the remarkable TW who knows nothing whatsoever about the sands of time. Give me a 61-year-old Tom Watson any day over a 35-year-old Woods. ANY DAY.

        • August 1st 2011 @ 1:54pm
          Mike said | August 1st 2011 @ 1:54pm | ! Report

          Tom Watson over Tiger? Tiger was in the top 5 at the Masters at 35! Tom Watson wasn’t even close at the same age, let alone 61. Now I know you really have no business even commenting on golf after that one. Tom Watson? The same Tow Watson that stole a PGA players wife and took a pee in the woods at the Masters this year? Wow. You guys had a heart attack at TW spitting. Oh the “Moral Police” double standard. I forgot.

    • August 1st 2011 @ 7:39am
      ChitownTony said | August 1st 2011 @ 7:39am | ! Report

      I only watch tiger. When anyone else tees up I turn my head bc I only want to watch tigers swing. Tigers ball control, smart lies in sand traps and tree patches are surreal. I’ve seen tiger snake and sink 20 yard puts. While I’ve seen other tournament winners miss straight 20 yard puts. Tiger was a prophet on the golf course and without him it would just be a boring game for a bunch of old guys, like it was before tiger.

      • August 1st 2011 @ 8:57am
        David Lord said | August 1st 2011 @ 8:57am | ! Report

        CT, I trust you won’t be holding your breath waiting for all those former Woods’ quslities to surface this week, you’ll pass out. Nobody fears him anymore, and you can bet your last dollar from here on in he’ll never match the euphoria of Darren Clarke’s British Open win, or Rory McIlroy’s sensational US Open success, or Ryo Ishikawa’s 58, or the sheer enjoyment Rickie Fowler, and Jason Day, show when they attack. They actually enjoy playing their golf, and show it. You can stick with a surly Woods, who reckons the world owes him. Bollocks.

    • August 1st 2011 @ 8:25am
      sheek said | August 1st 2011 @ 8:25am | ! Report

      Gidday David,

      And whoever thinks that sporting greatness & impeccable character don’t go hand in glove……….?

      • August 1st 2011 @ 9:33am
        David Lord said | August 1st 2011 @ 9:33am | ! Report

        And gidday to you too sheek. If Earl was alive today, he’d whup his recalcitrant son big time for ignoring his upbringing. Earl never taught him to ride roughshod over society. NO WAY. There will always be a day of reckoning, and it’s about to arrive,The jury is out to see if he can hack it.

        • August 1st 2011 @ 9:16pm
          sheek said | August 1st 2011 @ 9:16pm | ! Report


          Perhaps you may know of Earl better than I do, but I get the impression (& the little I’ve read of Earl) that Tiger is a chip off the old block, from the arrogant attitude to the womanising.

          Would Earl really have disapproved of his son’s behaviour? Or merely disapproved that he got caught…???

    • Roar Guru

      August 1st 2011 @ 10:13am
      langou said | August 1st 2011 @ 10:13am | ! Report

      I agree that with a whole host of great new golfers coming through that Tiger’s relevance is fading with every tournament. Right now, if I had a choice between watching Rory McElroy , Jason Day or Tiger I would be following Rory and Jason. As for Earl, maybe it was his single mindedness to help his son become a great golfer that resulted him becoming that selfish, arrogant, in-your-face competitor – traits that were well and truly part of Tiger’s character long before 2005. Lets not forget Earl wasn’t known for his fidelity either.

    • August 1st 2011 @ 1:02pm
      Will Collins said | August 1st 2011 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

      Tiger is still the greatest golfer to ever play the game. Sure he hasn’t reached 18 majors but he completely destroyed practically every other golf record. There’s Celtics players with more rings than Michael Jordan, but at the end of the day does that make them better than Jordan? Absolutely not. Did Jack win 3 consecutive US Amateurs like Tiger? No. Win a major with a torn knee? No. Win Augusta, at 21, by 12 strokes? No. Did Jack win a real US OPEN, not the watered down 2011 Congressional, by 15 strokes? No. Have all 4 majors at once (Tiger Slam)? No. Look at the ratings for this week and the tickets sales for the PGA Championship- they’ve doubled almost overnight and you expect me to believe golf doesn’t need Tiger? Look at the golf channel website and see all of the articles about Tiger and I’m supposed to believe your opinion? This “new crop” of golfers you mentioned is completely ridiculous. None of the people you listed in your article have won consistently on tour and you know it. How is Tiger fading when he’s still been the highest paid athlete the last 2 years? You can spew all the crap you want but you’re clearly delusional. It’s easy to kick a guy when he’s down and this article added absolutely nothing new to the list of the same garbage all the Tiger haters regurgitate when they try to mask the hate they’ve had for him since day one. I think Steve Williams has shown his true colors, after being made the ONLY MULTI-MILLIONAIRE PGA caddie in history and running his mouth to the press about loyalty. It’s caddies on tour that sleep in motels and scrape to make ends meet and somehow Tiger did Steve wrong by offering him an Elite lifestyle he NEVER would have seen by carrying a bag? Steve Williams donated a million to charity for god sake! People replace caddies all the time but now it’s the ultimate betrayal? Give me a break! Tiger lives in a 24 hour news cycle microscope that’s much different than the age of Nicklaus and Palmer where their image was more carefully constructed to make them saints. I’ve heard numerous stories about Palmer’s womanizing ways but somehow it’s never brought up. I wonder why? You don’t know Jack Nicklaus and you don’t know Tiger. Shame on you. I enjoy watching Tiger compete. He shows emotion like EVERY OTHER SPORT- big deal. Watching these scrubs play when Tiger’s not there is as boring as watching paint dry. To be the best for almost 10 years, you have to perform at a high level and the pressure is unbelievable. Get over yourself and stop hating. It’s very unbecoming of a person your age.

    • August 1st 2011 @ 1:21pm
      Greg said | August 1st 2011 @ 1:21pm | ! Report

      Why the anger David? I think it has coloured your views about Tiger. At least you admit he is a very special golfer. He will be back. Personally, I think the young guys like Jason Day and the Ulsterman Rory M are great to watch, but are not (yet) a patch on Woods. So, he’s a bit grumpy, and a (blonde) pants man. He makes golf more interesting as a spectator sport. I don’t think he has treated Williams too shabbily, but I am very suprised by the nasty response by SW to his contract of employment being ended. You’d think he’d be a bit more grateful.

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