The Return of Tiger Woods is Great Theater but Golf Needs a "Next Big Thing"...
Like many of you, I was parked in front of my TV late Sunday afternoon lost for at least an hour or so in a moment that appeared to be straight out of 2003.
For really the first time in recent memory Tiger Woods was on the prowl, shooting a crazy good number in the final round of the PGA Championship, threatening to steal a win.
Though he was kind of "All over the Place" on the course, Woods shot a final round 64 and finished the tournament--held in St. Louis--at 14-under, 2 shots behind the winner.
The winner: Brooks Koepka, a young, muscular, low key guy with one hell of a good game. Kopeka's win was his 2nd Major win of 2018 and his second straight PGA Title.
The win should elevate Koepka to "Elite" or "Must Watch" status--a guy who by most accounts is a great dude, easy going and ungodly talented.
But he was overshadowed by Woods.....majorly so.
Listen---I get it. One of golf's greats is finally competitive for the first time in seemingly a decade. And TV, Crowds and writers want oh, so badly for that to be the story. For that to be the headline.
It draws in the casual fan and gets Golf attention it sorely....desperately needs as the game has faded from the spotlight and the PGA is considered by many casual fans, the last tournament of the year worth watching.
A competitive Tiger keeps attention on the sport. Which is a short term solution---and a long term problem.
Golf desperately needs to grow another Woods---another "Mega-Star" who can transcend the game. Most professional sports go through this, some do it better than others. The NBA seems to do this exceptionally well and has had big name headline guys for generations, Major League Baseball---the opposite as they currently struggle to find "The Guy" to get all the headlines.
But the overriding question is--HOW do you do it? How do you get the publicists and writers and reporters and others to start featuring or focusing on the Brooks Kopeka's and Jordan Speith's and Dustin Johnson's of the world? How do these guys become "Break Out"/"Transcendent" stars?
It's quite obvious Koepka is one of the--if not the best player in the game right now. But how do you make him "Stand Out" from the pack?
It probably isn't going to help when Woods and fading legend Phil Mickelson square off in a "$10 million Challenge" during Thanksgiving weekend. They'll get a ton of attention for doing it and for at least a few hours, a lot of people will be watching those two square off.
But it will continue leaving the sport with a void. A big void. With little or no opportunity for anyone to fill it as every time someone like Koepka makes an incredible run, Woods or Mickelson's name pops up.
Honestly---I'm not trying to rip on the guys. It's great nostalgia and captivating TV to see Woods playing like the legend he is. It's always awesome to see someone who's struggled for so long come back and elevate to levels he's not achieved in a long, long time.
Rather I'm talking about the big picture here. Tiger is not going to be great all the time, nor forever. He's not going to be trudging up and down a Tournament Golf Course at Age 63, competing for titles. If Professional Golf wants to stay relevant and grow---they need...desperately need to find someone else to fill that role.