Tiger Woods, the man every golfer both loves and hates, has returned to golf with some incredibly mixed results. After leaving the 2014 WCG-Cadillac ranked number one in the world, he’s somehow slipped to 226th as of the July 5, 2015 Greenbrier Classic. We thought he had hit bottom when emerging from the 2015 US Open at 205, but apparently there was further to fall.
Some people are asking why he’s still relevant at all.
Why Tiger Matters
There are no two ways about it — people love Tiger. And what’s not to love? He was one of the youngest and most talented golfers the PGA had seen in years when he emerged on the scene in 1996 (Rookie of the Year). But, everything changed for Tiger in 2009 when his extra-marital affairs came to light (and his wife famously attacked him with a 9 iron). The ensuing fallout and divorce seemed to seriously squash Tiger’s mojo.
He looked like he’d found his feet in 2013 — ending the year at number one yet again. But now, he’s ranked 220. Like Rannulph Junuh in “The Legend of Bagger Vance,” Tiger seems to have lost his swing — years of serious injuries and rehabilitation can do that to you. Unfortunately, it’s going to take a lot more than a caddie and some encouragement to get Tiger back on track.
The thing is that Tiger is still Tiger deep down — he’s still the same intensely focused, competitive dynamo who was completely untouchable for over a decade. Sure, he’s not as young as he once was, but golf is a sport that can be played for decades longer than any other — and even by PGA standards, he’s hardly ancient.
Tiger’s Down, But Not Out
Tiger may be down, but he’s far from washed up. Is 2015 going to be his year? From the looks of it, probably not — but that doesn’t mean he’s out. Tiger’s got to get back into the swing of things, his showing at the US Open proved that — I was embarrassed for him watching him in the first round.
But the Greenbrier Classic, just a week later, gave us a glimpse of the old Tiger. Even though he tied for 32, he was confident, his swing motion was smooth and, most importantly, Tiger didn’t freak out about his incredibly sloppy double bogey on his 15th hole. Like Tiger of old, he shrugged that hole off and kept going — and that’s what makes Tiger everybody’s favorite.
Perseverance is an attractive quality in a sports giant, and even if it was by his own making, the last few years have been rough for the guy. I think Tiger’s ready and poised for a comeback, I think the fans want to see him rise from the ashes and I think Nike would love it if he managed to get back on top. Even the naysayers are saying nay with a great deal of regret — and although the field is full of talented young golfers, Tiger’s far from done.