Edson: Why Tiger’s Win Is Good For Golf
When Tiger Woods sank his winning putt on the 18th green at The Masters on Sunday afternoon, he tilted his head back and let out a scream.
The fallen hero and crippled star had come full circle. He was a winner again of a golf major. The fact it was at Augusta – the most hallowed ground in golf – was an added bonus.
Social media was abuzz. Neighbors walked out of their houses to talk. And cash registers in the golf industry were getting primed up for a busy season.
That’s because of the simple fact that when Tiger Woods wins, the entire golf industry wins.
His brand is so much bigger than golf.
And people relate to him, especially now, for this reason: They know he is not perfect and he’s had to overcome adversity, like many of the rest of us. So the casual golf fan and the golf fanatics can both relate to him.
That’s not to excuse him for some of his past behavior – the arrogance, the affairs and the thinly veiled excuses. But give Tiger credit for learning from his mistakes and trying to make himself a better person.
He learned that lesson on his way to re-inventing himself as a golfer.
That’s why the Augusta crowd started chanting, “Tiger, Tiger, Tiger…” seconds after his victory.
If you’ve ever been to Augusta, you know that chants like that are frowned upon. On Sunday, they were seemingly encouraged by the Lords of the Masters.
Maybe it’s because The Masters was breathing a sigh of relief at two big breaks that went their way. First, they made the great call to start the final round more than four hours early on Sunday because of a huge storm system that was moving in.
Secondly, the re-emergence of Tigers Woods came fittingly at Augusta. He hadn’t won a green jacket in 14 years and it was 11 years since his last major victory.
Most of all, Tiger’s win put the buzz back in the game of golf.
People will be talking about the win all week. And the timing is perfect. When winter finally does go away in northern Michigan – and it will (I think) – veteran golfers and new golfers will be anxious to hit the links.
And people just getting into the game will buy new clubs, head to the driving ranges and go to a golf facility to get lessons.
It’s all part of the spinoff effect of a Tiger Woods victory.
It not only was good for the Tiger brand, it was good for the game of golf.
Nick Edson is a retired Hall of Fame columnist and sportswriter. He worked 25 years at the Traverse City Record-Eagle, 18 as sports editor. He is a two-time president of the Associated Press Sports Editors Association and a member of the Michigan Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.