Tiger Woods has been great for the game of golf. He transcended golf and captured the imagination of golf fans and non golf fans alike. Like Michael Jordan and Lance Armstrong, he drew people who had never watched golf to the sport. That was then.
Then, he had that scandal, he recovered from it, and won a few tournaments, even regained the world number 1 in golf rankings. Worth reporting on and dissecting. Fine too.
The constant spotlight on Woods is blinding though. Woods won his last major in 2008. That’s five years without a major. A long time, by any stretch, even considering the past pedigree.
Tiger can go on to win a few more majors. Nicklaus did win four majors after the age of 37 over a period of 8 years which solidified his greatness. That should not mean that before the start of every major, Tiger is built up as the favorite. Then, when he is not able to win the major, it should not be termed as Tiger faltering. For the first three days of a golf tournament, a lot of energy is devoted to Woods till it is impossible for him to win. Only then, the other golfers get their due share of attention.
A large part of the golf media gives far more coverage to Tiger Woods and as a result, is unfair to golf and to the other golfers. While Jason Dufner is celebrated, there is also a large press devoted to how Tiger succeeded in lesser tounaments before the PGA Championship as they were not as difficult golf courses and as the field wasn’t as wide.
The golf writers have to have faith and move ahead from Woods to build up other players. There is a story in 5 majors in the last 4 years coming from Britain. There is a story in the improvement in standards of Australian golfers. There is golf beyond Woods, and it is wonderful.