This Monday, Tiger Woods had a swagger that a lot of PGA Tour fans haven’t seen in a long time. Claiming his 75th PGA Tour victory as well as his 7th win at legendary Torrey Pines, Tiger gave the world a glimpse of what to expect in the coming months – a new pep in his step and trophies filling the shelves.
Fans can speculate as to what has gotten Tiger back in the groove – is it his renewed spark with former wife Elin Nordegren, better health, a cleaner lifestyle? Who knows. Regardless, the man is back, and he’s making big moves.
The biggest ‘silent’ winner of the weekend was clearly the PGA Tour. This weekend a year ago, Tiger decided to skip the Farmers Insurance Open to enter the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, which directly conflicted with his involvement at Torrey Pines in 2012 (not to mention he was playing like crap and could use an easier venue to straighten out a few recurring problems with his game). This year, however, Woods enthralled the crowd with his long drives, spectacular putting, and most of all… a pearly white smile.
It’s undeniable: Tiger is the difference maker. Period. Ticket sales rose thirty percent since last year and television viewership more than doubled simply due to Tiger’s presence, not to mention his tight contention with his competitors, and ultimately his 75th win on the Tour. This weekend, Tiger proved that he legitimately is as popular as the PGA Tour, and a strong argument can be made that he is actually more popular than the Tour itself. Love him or hate him, golf would not be what it is today without Tiger Woods.