Golf desperately requires a Masters spectacle that only Tiger Woods can create

Augusta, Georgia – Even during dress rehearsals Tiger Woods can shift the land in Augusta National like no other. He spent time practicing the Masters, striking his fellow professionals with his ability to hit long balls and throw darts at flags, and reminding everyone how much he still desperately needs the game.

Thousands and thousands of fans watched his every move on Monday and Wednesday, and heavy rains on Tuesday interrupted the celebration of love, all of which created a beautiful and scary scene at the same time.

Great, of course, because Woods could have been killed when he smashed his SUV south of Los Angeles even 14 months ago, and could have lost his right leg due to amputation due to grotesque injuries he received.

Scary because practice-round visualizations have once again proven how desperate golf still needs the scars and blows of a 46-year-old guy moving around this arena, limping an elderly man.

When Woods first came to be a student in the mid-1990s, golf was an extreme, suburban club sport best known for its infamous history of exclusion. Woods changed everything by destroying the field with unprecedented force and precision. Gaining the muscle and appeal of Arnold Palmer, as well as the determination and skill of Jack Nicklaus, Tiger became the first golfer to become the most famous athlete in the world.

The game has risen on this wave and lasted a lifetime through scandal, operations, videos from the roadside police, other operations and even an accident. Golf would never have become as popular as football, baseball and basketball in this country, but Tiger Woods sometimes felt as great as the NFL’s biggest Sunday. There was a real hope that a new generation of athletes – inspired by Woods – would give up fields, diamonds and courts in favor of fairways and greens to bring golf to greater heights.

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods plays at the Masters
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Although Rory McElroys, Brooks Copkas and Dustin Johnson brought more athleticism into the game, this revolution did not happen. Kobe Bryant and then LeBron James were there to carry the NBA after Michael Jordan picked up the ball and went home. Golf has a share of promising young players, but I don’t see either Cobbs or LeBron.

I also don’t see tigers other than those who believe they can win this tournament on one leg.

Once upon a time I didn’t think any golf superstar could be bigger than Masters himself. Augusta National is Riley Field and Fenway Park, the only major venue for the championship that never changes and never disappoints. The feeling of the sun and the view of the greenest grass and white sand can have a profound restorative effect on the northeast, exhausted by another long winter.

But Woods proved me wrong. I’ve covered Masters with him and without him in the field, and the difference in experience is the difference between the dusty, shabby steam-3 in your local munie and the 12th hole in Amen Corner.

During a training session on the seventh hole on Monday, John Rum saw a gallery tracking a group of Woods, Fred Parov and Justin Thomas, passing into the second hole, and said, “I’ve never seen such a large crowd, even on Sunday, where they fought.” Thomas, one of the best players on the planet, walked past this nine-hole gallery and said, “I had a couple of buddies, they sent me some pictures [Monday] at night and it’s probably more people than ever watching me play in the round at Augusta National and they weren’t there to watch me ”.

Masters
Tiger Woods
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They were there to watch Tiger because even at that age and even in that state he surpasses everything in terms of the game he plays. In other words, no sport has ever needed athletes as much as golf needs and needs Tiger Woods.

Jordan has raised professional basketball around the world, but Magic Johnson and Larry Byrd have already saved the NBA from the irrelevance of late night recorded on tape in the pre-MJ era long before Kobe and LeBron dominated the social media era after MJ. Tom Brady helped notarize the NFL as a TV to watch, but Aaron Rogers and Patrick Mahomes followed him as geniuses of improvisation in the most prominent position of professional football.

Golf
Tiger Woods is following a course in August.
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Nick Faldo and Greg Norman were ahead of Woods, and McIlroy, DJ and Jordan Spit arrived in the back nine of his best age. Legitimate stars, no doubt, but both champions and public figures are not within the Tiger’s longest five.

“I’ve never seen anything like it on Monday,” Paris said Wednesday. “I was here in the last group, I won here. … I have photos [from Monday] that I will probably come up with. They are not about me. It’s just a gallery sent to me … [from] № 8, № 7 back to the corner, and there [fans] 10 deep.

“So they wanted to see the big guy and they saw him and they saw good golf. … It was incredible. ”

And scary at the same time. So at 10:34 a.m. Thursday morning, when the 15-time grand champion and 82-time Tour winner are drawn with Luis Ostheisen and Joaquin Niemann, the whole world of golf will stop, watch and roar.

This sport will hold on to Tiger Woods for as long as possible because there is no one else like him approaching from the rear.

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