Is The PGA Tour Toast Without Tiger Woods?

Sun, December 13, 2009 6:35pm EDT by 4 Comments

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Experts and golfers alike want him back on the lynx!

“Saturday Night Live” did a hilarious sketch last night about the PGA Tour becoming less popular now that Tiger Woods has taken an indefinite break from the game. But it wasn’t just funny — it was actually pretty accurate. A number of recent reports suggest that Tiger’s absence from the tour could have devastating results.

The last time Tiger took a break from golf, when he was recovering from knee surgery in 2008, golf tournament ratings slumped almost 50 percent, according to Nielsen Media.

“Tiger’s presence at a golf tournament and being on the leader board generates significantly increased ratings,” says Neal Pilson of Pilson Communications. “When deals are negotiated, the fact Tiger is a member of the tour influences what networks pay.”

 

“Golf needs Tiger Woods,” says fellow golfer Brad Faxon. “We wish them well and the best. I don’t know what the best thing to do is. Nobody does. But I know him on the golf course is good for everybody.”

Others fear that Tiger’s exit will drive the entire game of golf back into obscurity. “Without him, the sport seems to have pretty much dropped out of the cultural conversation,” writes Sports Illustrated columnist Frank Deford.

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