Never thought I’d say this: Golf no longer needs Tiger Woods

April 09, 2012 | Drew Forrester

So, yes, I’d like to see Woods recapture his mojo and figure out a way to eat into Jack’s record of 18 majors, but it’s starting to look more and more like it’s not going to happen.

And I’m OK with that.

I suspect, also, “the world of golf” is OK with it.

As Bubba Watson and Louis Oosthuizen showed us on Sunday afternoon, you can win and lose with grace.  Watson was clearly overwhelmed by the moment and could barely pull himself together in the post-victory jacket presentation and the rest of the cool stuff that goes with winning The Masters.  Oosthuizen, meanwhile, took it all like a champion, even in defeat.  His only real mistake down the stretch was an iffy chip from the front of the green on the 10th hole in the playoff.  In the end, it just wasn’t his day to win.  But you didn’t hear any foul language from him and there weren’t any clubs thrown, kicked or otherwise punished.

TV sponsors might want Woods to return to greatness and tournament directors certainly look forward to seeing Tiger in their field, but the game of golf no longer requires his participation in order for the sport to have a high level of importance on our country’s sporting landscape.

Five years ago, that probably wasn’t possible.  Who was going to put us on the edge of our seat in 2007?  Ernie Els? Davis Love III? Stuart Appleby?  Chris DiMarco?

In 2007, it was Tiger Woods and nothing else.

It’s not like that anymore and everything is humming along nicely, thanks to players like Watson and Oosthuizen who showed everyone on Sunday that it’s still entirely possible to be a great player and conduct yourself appropriately in the pursuit of your legacy.

8 Comments For This Post

  1. The "Armchair QB" Says:

    Sadly, couldn’t agree more! As an avid golf fan, I followed this one time once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon with admiration and awe until his demeanor started to belie his reverence and respect for the game. Now, seemingly consumed by anger, he has become an embarrassment to himself and the game of golf. The Masters was one of the more exciting tournaments in recent memory featuring a rare “double eagle”, a tournament literally up for grabs and an array of talented young players with a first time winner who played spectacularly and, perhaps more importantly, won with grace and humility! Yes, the game of golf needs more Bubba Watson’s than it does Tiger Woods………

  2. bigkat Says:

    Surprisingly enough I tend to agree, I wish I could be as elegant as the Armchair QB in his surmise. But this year’s Masters had as much excitment as those won by Tiger and Phil. I love to watch Tiger and I am glued to the T.V. when he is in contention, but This Masters was one for the ages. Maybe not the social impact as 1997, but the changing of the guard for the avid golf follower. We all guessed what life after Tiger was going to be like, I expected a torid run, one I could tell my grandkids about, and then a run on the champions tour of biblical proportions. But I guess this is it; time for another chapter on the PGA tour. I still think for a time there; Tiger was the most dominating of athletes of his time, with the ability to change the outcome of events by his presense alone, that time has come and gone. But it was sure fun while it lasted.
    I hope he gets back to his winning form, but barring a miracle, I think him surpassing Jack’s record, is in the rear-view mirror.

  3. matt Says:

    golf may not need woods, but it needs someone like the old him. the old guard is dying off fast, the new guard is europeans. how many americans are going to watch a bunch of euro’s play golf? not enough to keep the sport alive. (DF: You obviously don’t follow the sport or you would have rattled off American names like Bradley, Watson, Simpson, Haas, Mahan, Fowler, Johnson, Watney…they’re all going to likely be major championship winners at some point in the next five years.)

  4. Paul Says:

    Golf is better off. Would rather see many golfers in contention rather than one dominate

  5. Mike from Carney Says:

    This is one more step from being removed as a Tiger Apologist, Drew. That kicking of the club was another chapter of the rise and fall of a legend. But I saw all this coming 1 1/2 years ago. Will he win again? Yes, but will it make a sound that anyone can hear?

  6. joe of bel air Says:

    I am one of the “Tiger-Haters” as you like to call them and the reason why is not because I am a racist, or that he had a white wife or that I am jealous of his skill level. No the reason I am a Tiger hater is because I find it hard to cheer for someone who is a despicable human being. The guy had the world in the palm of his hands and threw it aw3ay. The stories you hear about Tiger off the course paint him in a very poor light. He just doesn’t seem to be a very nice person. Cheering for Tiger would be like hoping Bernie Madoff won mega millions a few weeks ago. Why cheer for someone like Tiger when there are guys like Bubba and Phil competing on the tour, both of whom seem to be really good guys. I still find it strange that Tiger hasn’t been the same since the Canadian blood spinning doc got busted for smuggling roids into the country. Earl Woods did a hell of a job raising a golfer but a very poor job raising a son. I wonder if Earl would be as proud of Tiger as a man as he was of him as a golfer.

  7. Mark Says:

    Great comments. I saw Bubba Watson interviewed on TV this morning. When asked if he felt that his father would be proud of him for winning the Masters, Bubba’s repsonse was “I think he would be more proud of the man that I have become”. THAT statement tells you all you need to know about the difference between Bubba Watson and Tiger Woods. Also, I thought your comments on the radio yesterday (4/10) were spot on when you talked about Bubba’s faith. He doesn’t win because of it (God is on no athelete’s side)but it allows him to play loosely because he knows that golf is not the most important thing in his life; his family, faith, and friends are. When golf is not the only thing in your life, you don’t become angry on the course. Maybe that explains Tiger’s outburst……without golf Tiger Woods doesn’t seem to have much in his life. Bubba knows that without golf he has a full life; I believe that Tiger knows that without golf, his life is quit empty.

  8. matt Says:

    drew, you have yourself a chinese lunch if any of those guys win a major within the next year (watsons this year does not count). id say 5 years but thats too long a bet.

Leave a Reply