Tiger’s injury scare has helicopters on standby, and advertisers biting their nails.
Despite Rory McIlroy rising to the top of the world golf rankings and a very exciting start to the 2012 PGA Tour season, it seems the golf world still can’t live without Tiger Woods.
Golf fans and corporations with a stake in the game would be breathing a collective sigh of relief to hear that Woods has merely strained his left Achilles and should be back hitting golf balls by the end of the week.
From the man himself via Twitter,
Got good news from doc tonight. Only mild strain of left Achilles. Can resume hitting balls late in week and hopeful for next week.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) March 13, 2012
Nervous PGA Tour, advertisers and Augusta National officials would have been holding their breath when they saw Tiger Woods limping out of the WGC Cadillac Championship after only 11 holes on Sunday. The greatest golfer of our generation, currently ranked at 18th in the world still wields the most power to bring interest and money to the game and a Tiger-less US Masters would be bad for everyone.
The footage was reminiscent of the media tracking of OJ Simpson, albeit with far less at stake.
You’d be forgiven for thinking their wasn’t though given the helicopter shots trailing Woods’ car as he left the golf course, and the dramatic words of the announcer as he passed on the news from Woods. But if you compare television ratings for golf in the US when Woods plays and when he doesn’t, it is easy too see how much money may be at stake.
The knee injury that plagued Woods, and eventually left him out of the game for close to a year was also downplayed at the time. Possibly because it seemed innocent enough to Woods when it happened. But for those skeptics among us, we do wonder if it was to appease those with commercial interests in the game.
Skepticism aside, like him or hate him, Woods is the best golfer of our generation and a Tiger-less US Masters would, at the very least, be less interesting. If we are to take Woods on his word, he should be at Augusta in three weeks time.