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Fri, Dec 19, 2014

PGA Tour needs to ride momentum of younger stars

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Tiger Woods run as the best golfer in the world is over, and it is time for the sport to realize it, including the fans.

The PGA Tour needs to do a better job of promoting the next superstar because Woods is not going to last forever. His latest back injury over the weekend at the Bridgestone Invitational has everybody within the sport worried about his future.

Of course, Woods has been battling back issues since the Honda Classic earlier this season. He took some time off, including missing the U.S. Open and the Masters to try to heal up from the injury. Woods came back in June during his home tournament, the Quicken Loans National in Washington D.C.

However, he has not played well since coming back, including a poor finish at last month’s British Open Championship. Of course, last Sunday during the final round at the Bridgestone Invitational, Woods dropped out halfway through the round. The question for everybody involved with the sport seems to be is Woods done for good? Honestly, I think so, and the PGA needs to realize it, and they need to start promoting the next superstar.

Admittedly, this year with Woods not being in contention in the three majors, the TV ratings have been much lower than usual. Part of the reason is some sports fans do not appreciate the sport, and they only watch when Woods is playing well. Also, the poor television viewership falls on the PGA Tour itself for not promoting the other great players.

At the same time, it has been a changing of the guard at the sport’s top level. A selection of youngsters have taken over, and hopefully it will help the PGA Tour as a whole to continue the success it has enjoyed during the recent few years thanks to Woods. The main one is Rory McIIroy, who already has three major wins before turning 25 years old after winning at the British Open Championship last month. McIIroy followed it up with a win last week at the Bridgestone Invitational.

He joins a unique list of three golfers with at least three major wins before turning 25. The other two are Woods and Jack Nicklaus, who has the all-time record of most majors won in a career with 18. Woods is second with 14. However, Tiger has not won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open. Now, people wonder if he will ever catch the greatest golfer of all-time in Nicklaus. Time is running out for Woods if he wants to reach his ultimate goal of being the all-time major wins leader.

The PGA Championship took place last weekend, and there were questions if Woods would be back in time to compete at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky., at a course he has had success before during his career. He did, but missed the cut.

Also, next month is the Ryder Cup in Scotland. Honestly, I believe Woods has not done enough to earn a spot on the team. Hopefully, U.S. captain Tom Watson will not give into the pressure of the public and put him on the team. There are more deserving players who should be given a spot on the team.

As for the PGA Tour, hopefully this weekend’s PGA championship will give them the chance to create the next superstar because Woods’ time is about up as the best golfer in the world.

 

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