There’s nothing like Tiger Woods to get golf fans and the casual sports fan interested in major golf tournaments. Sure, Phil Mickelson gets a lot of attention, like his recent stunt where he quit the Memorial tournament after one lousy round because he was hung over. And you have Bubba Watson, who’s good ‘ol boy approach to the game has earned him a legion of fans, particularly in the South. But Tiger’s dramatic win at the Memorial has vaulted him back to the top of the heap again. Golf betting has been a lot less interesting with Tiger in his slump, so plenty of fans probably spent more time betting other sports or hanging out on Party Poker Television. But with Tiger back it’s safe to speculate that the sportsbooks will be getting plenty of action for the US Open.
With the US Open around the corner, the buzz is starting to get out of control as the experts start handicapping Tiger’s chances. You even have news stories about what Tiger might be wearing at the US Open! Then the news came out that Tiger would be in a group with Phil Michelson and Bubba Watson at the US Open and naturally that fueled even more interest. The powers that be in golf don’t want to waste this renewed interest and want to milk Tiger’s resurgence for all it’s worth.
But Tiger still hasn’t won a major in a long time. The Memorial is a very prestigious tournament since it’s hosted by Jack Nicklaus on his home course and is considered to be an unofficial major by many. But it’s still not the US Open, and Tiger needs to demonstrate that he can rise to the occasion again on the biggest stage. He has certainly changed his game, as he’s used his driver much less in order to improve his accuracy, but that also takes away a huge advantage he had over the field in the past. If a big hitter like Watson gets hot at the open, then Tiger will have an uphill battle.
For all of us golf fans, this will be very fun to watch!
Only Bubba Watson would hit a 52-degree gap wedge that ducked under 18-foot-high tree branches, instantly gained altitude, hooked 40 yards, parachuted onto the green of the second playoff hole from 135 yards away, squirted toward the flagstick, settled exhausted about 15 feet away — and later call the tournament-winning shot “pretty easy.”
Your 2012 Masters champion is a nut job, but in a good way. He’s a human faucet. He cried enough on Sunday night to create his own rain forest.