I take every sun-splashed opportunity to get out and sneak a round into a day. Hell, I even take most rain-soaked, muddy pants, 6-pound divot-splashed opportunities, too. There aren’t many things that will keep me off of a golf course in the summer time that don’t involve work or my family. And even then, I do everything I can to get my family to a course or to skate a little early for the company golf league. (I NEVER LEAVE EARLY)
(That was just in case my boss reads this)
It’s fair to say that I’m obsessed with golf, and so are lots of my friends and coworkers. But, being obsessed with golf and being obsessed with the PGA are two totally different diseases. The former is an affliction that funnels money to our local courses or country clubs, but the latter funnels eyes to the television on Sundays and creates opportunities for the PGA to thrive.
With Tiger Woods’ victory, on what ended up being Monday because of a rain delay, the PGA finds itself back in a good position; able to honestly convince viewers that Tiger would be worth watching every weekend.
Tiger Woods notched his 75th career PGA win in the Farmer’s Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. That puts him just seven wins behind Sam Snead for most all-time PGA wins, but his final round contention proved something about Tiger that means more to the PGA than just a win record; Tiger Woods at the top of the leader board makes golf relevant in a way in which no other current player or happening comes close.
I don’t know whether we’re all excited about watching because there’s a glimmer of hope that he’ll dominate again and break Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 Major wins. I don’t know if we want Tiger to make his way back to the top of the leader board so we can watch Rory McIlroy or Rickie Fowler become the next dominate young golfer by consistently staring down the Tiger Woods. We might even be watching so intently because there are so many opportunities to pick out girls in the crowd that might be Perkin’s waitresses, or just because sometimes we need an excuse to Google search Tiger’s rumored girlfriend Lindsey Vonn.
I have no idea why Tiger winning is good for golf, but I have proof. As I was in and out of the guy’s locker room lounge area at my gym on Monday, the television wasn’t blaring CNBC. No Maria Bartiromo interview with some guy who’s trying very hard to sound wealthy about some weird stock no one owns. The television was stuck on CBS, and there was a crowd glued to the screen.
As Tiger made his way down the stretch of his four stroke victory Monday, we were all watching. And let me assure you when Dustin Johnson or Charles Howell III are duking it out for an early season tune-up tournament victory, no one is crowding around that television.
We just don’t care as much about watching the PGA when Tiger Woods isn’t contending on a Sunday. Maybe the reason is different for each of us. Maybe the reason is a little bit of everything. (For me, it’s heavy on the Googling Lindsey Vonn)
Maybe – when it’s all said and done – we’re realizing that greatness on the field is different from greatness off the field and that there’s no better escape from reality than a sport played to its fullest. And that Tiger Woods is one of the few people in our lifetimes that has the ability to give us that escape.