The Tiger roar might have left, but it has returned

Friday, August 17, 2018

To some of you, golf may be the most boring sport on television, but there is no denying Tiger Woods is the most polarizing athlete in American sports today.

When Woods returned to competition at age 43, many golf experts and casual fans such as myself didn't have high expectations for Woods. He hadn't won a major championship since 2008 and he has had several failed comeback attempts after injuries over the last couple years.

It appears as if this could be the time Woods makes it back to the top, though. In July, he led on the final day of the British Open before Francesco Molinari went on to win. Woods followed that up with a Sunday charge at last weekend’s PGA Championship where he shot a final round six under and finished in second place.

People always follow Woods around a golf course, but when he began making his trademark "Tiger Roar," his gallery doubled in size. Brooks Koepka, the eventual winner of the tournament, and Adam Scott had been pushed aside by the St. Louis crowd. Koepka won his third major championship in his last seven attempts, but that was overshadowed by what Woods has been able to accomplish so far this season.

There are many young up-and-coming golfers in the sport such as Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas. Thomas won the event last year, yet there was a 69 percent increase in ratings from last year to this year. Woods might have disappeared for the better part of the last 10 years, but he is still plenty popular.

Years ago, people either wanted to see Woods break Jack Nicklaus' record of major championships won or they tuned in hoping to see a fresh face challenge him. Because of injuries and other circumstances, fresh faces finally took charge of the game, but those faces haven't been as popular as Woods.

Now that he is the one going against those fresh faces, many tune in rooting to see the Tiger Woods of old. We have seen glimpses of that greatness over the past couple of months. With a little bit more consistency, we will be seeing more than just glimpses.

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Ty Loftis is the sports editor for the Carroll County Newspaper. His email address is CCNSports@cox-internet.com

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