There was a predictable lull in the build-up to the 2022 Masters which was, ultimately, quite easy to explain; Tiger Woods wasn’t playing. Yes, the various tours instructed their social media teams to ramp up interest by putting together inspiring montages of unforgettable Masters moments in the past, but in reality, they did very little to raise the needle in terms of excitement.
Indeed, without Woods at the tournament, the world tends to switch off and instead decides to leave the spectacle to die-hard golf fans. The organizers know as much which is why they were still holding out hope that the 15-time major champion would show up. Encouragingly for the powers that be of world golf and with a week to go, the latest Masters 2022 betting odds had allocated Woods a price of 50/1 to win the tournament which meant there remained an outside chance that the big cat would still play. All the PGA Tour needed, however, was a sign that would help confirm that and in doing so, save the Masters 2022 from becoming irrelevant. Ask and you shall receive.
Indeed, like a gift sent down from heaven, there suddenly appeared a Gulfstream G550 plane in Augusta, which was rapidly descending towards the local airport in late March. Yes, Tiger had arrived and the world once more decided to give the Masters the time of day.
— MEREDITH ANDERSON (@MeredithWRDW) March 29, 2022
Of course, we still don’t know if Woods will play given that he is currently seeing if his body will cope with the rigours of walking the lengthy layout of Augusta National, but it doesn’t really matter either way when you focus on how obsessed the world still is with the 46-year-old. Indeed, the real story here is how golf moves forward again on the day Woods decides to retire.
In short, no one is able to stir up interest like Woods is able to despite the golfer being only a few years away from being eligible to play on the seniors’ tour. What this means is that golf currently doesn’t have a player who is able to help keep people who might find themselves on the fence with regards to an affinity with the sport, interested to the degree that the Hall of Famer has been able to over the last three decades.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) October 5, 2021
Needless to say, this is a potentially disastrous problem for the PGA Tour and golf, in general, to be facing. Indeed, it’s becoming all the more evident that one man is bigger than the game itself and the latest frenzy around Woods’ participation in the 2022 Masters proves as much. Worryingly, there is no simple solution to this problem when you consider the inescapable truth is that there is no way of avoiding what is coming down the road for the golf industry as Woods, naturally, can’t keep playing forever.
Yes, all sports have seen greats retire but none will be as badly affected as golf will be when Woods makes his final putt and bids the game goodbye.
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