PGA preparing to live without dominant Tiger Woods

Tiger-Woods-dominant

JUNE 2015 – A while back I wrote about how the PGA truly needed Tiger Woods. From the endorsements, to the attendance, to the national coverage, to the television contracts and ratings, most know the PGA must prepare for life without Tiger.

PGA commissioner Tim Finchem has made claim after claim the tour will continue to prosper even though it’s No. 1 hero/villain continues to struggle and no longer wears the mantle of the world’s best golfer.

Earlier this year, Woods shot a career worst 82 in the The Waste Management Phoenix Open.

His run at Jack Nicklaus’ 18 majors looks to be more a pipedream than the reality it once appeared to be. It will still remain a side story if he should win another major or two.

Yes, some of his peers believe he could easily return to the No. 1 status if he remains healthy. However, the consensus feels he will never return to the form when he dominated in the early 2000s.

I still view him as one of the greatest to ever play golf.

Fans either rooted for him or against him.   You loved it when he dominated; you loved it when the underdog beat him. That’s what being the best does in the world of sports.

Sponsor-GolfThis year Jordan Speith has risen to No. 1 as Roy McElroy, Jimmy Walker, Dustin Johnson,

Bubba Watson and a list of others many haven’t heard of grace the top 10 in earnings.

Speith, who is only 21 and won the Masters in April, could be the next PGA superstar, but he lacks the hype and buildup Woods had during his initial climb. Maybe it’s because he is not flashy. The bottom line is he does have a long way to go to be considered the best player. Even then, I’m not sure the PGA can build their endorsements around him and any of the other contenders to Tiger’s throne.

To be realistic, all sports go through this transformation.

You always hear comments like “there will never be another…”

Football had Johnny Unitas, Jim Brown, Gale Sayers, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana and Brett Favre. The NBA had Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan. Major League Baseball has a list so long – going back to Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Pie Traynor, Honus Wagner, Walter Jenkins and Cy Young — that this paper would have to double its pages to list half of them. Tennis also has endured the great ones – Rod Laver, Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe – slowing down only to survive decade after decade.

The major concern I have about the game of golf is it is not watched as much as the other sports. The one great aspect about it is that the heroes can still play with the best, no matter how old they are. Watching Nicklaus, Lee Trevino and Arnold Palmer still making appearances at some of the tournaments rekindle the memories of old and get us all something to root for.

For Tiger Woods though it may be different. We didn’t expect him to decrease this quickly, this soon. He was so far ahead of the rest of the pack that we thought it would be a slow decline. As he turns 40 this year, we find it hard to believe that he can go from being No. 1 in 2013 to ranked 201 the next year.

He lost not only great game, but his smile. Many have emulated his famous fist pump after a long putt, that we also miss.

The PGA will survive and so will Tiger Woods. Endorsements and viewership may be down, but not out. Everyone loves to root for the underdog and it’s Woods turn to play that role. With a multitude of players having a somewhat equal chance of winning a tournament, worldwide PGA support will always remain.

I do know if Tiger is playing there will be amped up coverage. The media just can’t stay away from it. And we will watch in greater numbers than if he was not playing.

Article by James “JP” Peuster. JP can be reached at www.jpegsports.com. Listen to JPEG Sports 24/7 at www.jpeg247.com or on Wednesdays 3 to 4 p.m. at 1510 AM on the radio dial.

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