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The Top 10 Things We Missed Most About Tiger

By: Brian McCallen

He’s back! Okay, so it wasn’t exactly vintage Tiger yesterday during his first round at Congressional, where he’s hosting the Quicken Loans National. But it was nice to see him out on the course again following a nearly four-month layoff from back surgery. We sure missed the fireworks he brings to the game.

Tiger in Contention
It never gets old. When Tiger’s in the hunt, his presence is electrifying. Just ask the competition, which used to wilt at the mere sight of him on Sunday. His fist pumps, explosive roars, twirl of the club after a perfect shot, the thousand-yard stare—we miss the whole repertoire. So do PGA Tour officials and TV executives.

The Chase
With Tiger on the sidelines, his quest to equal or surpass Jack Nicklaus’s 18 major professional championships and Sam Snead’s record 82 PGA Tour victories is now back on. Who knows if he'll ever catch Jack, let alone surpass him, in majors, but with 79 regular Tour wins, there's no doubt he'll pass Snead, which will become like Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak in 1941: unbreakable.

Lindsey Vonn in the Gallery
She’s the country’s greatest skier ever who’s easy on the eyes, to boot. He’s arguably the best golfer ever. Is there a bigger power couple in sports?

Sunday Uniform
Tiger, golf’s greatest front-runner, patented the classic red shirt, black paints, black shoes assassin’s outfit. It just doesn’t look the same on Patrick Reed. Or Rocco Mediate, who wore the same colors in the 2008 U.S. Open playoff, to no avail.
 

Fantastic Recoveries
No, not from the fire hydrant. From the rough. The woods. The bunkers. The desert. From nearly any impossible situation that no mere mortal could ever recover from. For Tiger, there is no jail. There is only a way out.

Costumed Fans
It takes a fertile imagination, a big commitment, and cool weather to don a tiger suit, paint your face like a big jungle cat, and join the gallery behind the ropes to watch the former No. 1 player in the world in action. Tigers are solitary by nature, but we missed seeing packs of them at tournaments.

Nike Commercials
Tiger was the star of Nike’s ad campaign. Early on, he was convincing as Carl Spackler, the slack-lipped superintendent in Caddyshack, and even better tutoring Rory McIlroy, another Nike staffer, on the finer points of the game. We even miss him as a well-meaning Dick’s Sporting Goods employee.

Swing Analysis
Ever since he limped away from Torrey Pines with the U.S. Open trophy in 2008, golf fans have been besieged with analysis by pundits about What’s Wrong with Tiger. Swing gurus from Haney to Harmon have weighed in. So have TV broadcasters from Chamblee to Miller. It’s almost like a cottage industry itself.

Press Conferences
The non-answers Tiger provides to reporters in post-round press conferences, especially at the majors, are almost comical. Tiger can give a thoughtful, well-reasoned answer to a golf-related question—if he’s in the mood. Personal inquiries are usually met with an icy glare.  

F-Bombs
Actually, we don’t miss those. Or the spitting. Maybe Tiger 2.0 will care more what people think…Nah!

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Feedback

  1. He’s back – this week – ho hum – who really cares?

    — Angus · Friday June 27, 2014 ·

  2. Angus has it absolutely correct !!!

    — ward · Friday June 27, 2014 ·

  3. Frankly, Scarlett, I don’t give a damn.

    — Jerry · Friday June 27, 2014 ·

  4. A lot of people care. And like the article points out, the PGA and TV Execs care a lot!

    There’s not a single Tour player right now that could take 3-1/2 months off to have back surgery and then return and truly compete in their first tournament back.

    Anyone who expects him to be a factor this week — or who derides or mocks him for not being in the mix, is either delusional, knows nothing about the game of golf, or simply delights in attacking him in a personal manner.

    — Brian · Friday June 27, 2014 ·

  5. To the gentlemen who said “who cares” – don’t watch him, don’t buy his products, don’t read articles about him (which all of you did in this case) don’t talk about him if you don’t care. Put that negative energy to use practicing your short game or spending time with your family or helping someone less fortunate than you.
    To Brian – you are absolutely correct. TV cares, advertisers care, the PGA Tour cares. Even Sergio was quoted as caring.

    — Eagle Ed · Friday June 27, 2014 ·

  6. Whatever you say about the man he is one of the greats on the golf circuit. I wish I could play my game half as good as the does. I believe he will be very competitive this weekend & will bring back the excitement to the tournament.

    — Bob Cusick · Friday June 27, 2014 ·

  7. Who won last week? I don’t know, I only know it wasn’t Tiger.

    — Douglas Houston · Friday June 27, 2014 ·

  8. To Eagle Ed, I don’t care about Tiger. I find golf more compelling when the coverage is about the entire tournament and not just one player. I would love to not watch him, if I could watch the rest of the tournament. However, when Tiger is in the tournament, we see his every move – when he takes a deep breath, when he swears, when he goes to the port-a-potty, when he takes a drink of water etc. I am glad he missed the cut this weekend because we will get to see what is going on with the people in contention to win the tournament. But you can bet we will also see “highlights” of his first two rounds, and since this is his tournament, I’ll wager he will be interviewed in the broadcast booth one if not both days.

    — 3-putt · Saturday June 28, 2014 ·



 


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