Real life shenanigans got in the way of me watching Saturday’s coverage of the PGA Championship.
So once I was home that early evening, I fired up the ol’ internet search engine to look up the shear essentials: How the leaderboard changed, if Jordan Spieth said anything interesting, if John Daly heaved another club into another Great Lake, etc.
Yet the first headline that pulls up in my list of results was an ESPN summary of the day capped off with–drumroll please–how terrible Tiger Woods played and how he missed the cut.
I get it, the guy was the face of the sport for a very long time. But in 2015, Woods is not only no longer PGA golf’s figurehead, but he isn’t contributing to the competition. Heck, he isn’t even saying anything interesting.
Putting it plainly: Woods is no longer the biggest story in golf, and shouldn’t be given prime real estate on the news crawl.
(To be fair, the second link on the list was CBSSports.com‘s recap which included some pretty quaint GIFs, but that’s another story for another article.)
What is this need to keep following Woods? It isn’t as if the golf universe is void of great athletes and even greater characters. Rory McIlroy, the freckle-faced boy wonder turned stealthy vet. Spieth, the spritely youngster that has probably won more tourneys than he has legally ordered drinks at a bar. Jason Day, who rallied from suffering debilitating vertigo spells at the US Open to winning the RBC Canadian Open just a few weeks later. Heck, Phil Mickelson isn’t topping leaderboards, but he sure has stayed competitive.
The list goes on. I could probably pen a series of articles just talking about Rickie Fowler’s neon pants or Keegan Bradley’s Tommy Hilfiger polos. I’ll even add a couple paragraphs about seeing Bubba Watson’s pink driver in person, just for good measure.
But what keeps topping highlight reels from rounds on the tourney? How poorly Tiger Woods is playing, accompanied by his lackluster pressers where he tries to say that he “felt good out there” or whatever.
I’m not understanding what makes his decline an appealing read. He hasn’t graced the covers of the tabloids in a few years, so it isn’t as if he’s getting mega coverage for good gossip value.
The idea that Woods has become click bait for fairweather golf viewers trying to keep up with a tourney doesn’t make much sense either. Reading about how jacked his back is and how much he struggles tells us nothing about who is actually winning whatever tournament is taking place and who’s in line to win the purse.
On the note of money–Woods is a beyond awful fantasy golf pick, so it isn’t as if ESPN is helping anyone walking into the sports book to throw down moolah.
Now we sit on the Christmas morning of the PGA season, wondering who we will see be crowned victor after the final round at Whistling Straits. It’s only a wonder how much the big sports news outlets will give the winner–and how long it will take for someone to bring Tiger Woods back up.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports