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Golf is missing Tiger Woods

By | February 20th 2009

By Albatross

On Sunday, February 8, Tiger Woods celebrated the birth of his second child, Charlie Axel Woods. Elin Woods, Tiger’s wife gave birth to a little brother to Sam Alexis Woods, Tiger’s firstborn daughter.

"Both Charlie and Elin are doing great and we want to thank everyone for their sincere best wishes." The superstar is reported saying.

Before the arrival of the baby Woods had observed that the arrival of the baby would signal the start of the sleepless nights.

"Elin, Sam and I are very excited for the new baby to arrive, although that’s when the real lack of sleep begins," he wrote on his website. It is not entirely clear, at this early stage, whether the baby’s arrival will delay or speed up his return to the Tour circuit. But one thing is abundantly clear: the game has missed him sorely. The Tour needs to have Woods to compete against; and they have said as much. TV needs the revenue and the courses are crying out for the crowds.

Human nature, in its inherent structure, demands predictability without necessarily expressly stating that fact. And we all hope that the void that reigned in Torrey Pines, earlier this month, will be a thing of the past and we shall remember it as a bad dream. Let’s have a quick memory jog. Torrey Pines is the public golf course or rather courses, for they are two, North and South, where Woods played last, in June 2008, and won his 14th major, and the third US Open, limping, but in the company of one Rocco Mediate treated the world to a spectacular display of 91 holes of scintillating golf in one competition! This is also the home of Buick Invitational, which Woods has won four times in a row. Pines is a public course but Woods, it seems, has converted to his own private course. It’s fascinating to watch Woods play on this turf; and the crowd loves it.

Looking at the pack of motley winners of the first five PGA Tour events of this season, that predictability is nowhere on the horizon. Sportswriters and other journalists are suffering silently. They feel lost. But they are not stating it in words. The crowds have disappeared from the events and TV revenues have taken a dive. Some of this may be attributed to the downturn in the world economy, but the truth of the matter is, there is no Tiger Woods. His absence is the single most important factor that has made golf take such a beating as a spectator spot. Woods makes golf news even by his absence from the Tour but without his actual participation, the game suffers in many respects. And that is why his return is awaited with so much anticipation.

He is expected, and he has said as much himself, to participate in The Masters, slated between April 9-12, but it was widely anticipated he might use WGC-Accenture Matchplay Championship, in Tucson, between February 25 and March 1, as a warm up event. But it will also be remembered; he warned that with the arrival of the new baby he would be taking it easy. "A lot depends on the baby," he said, "that takes precedence over anything I do golf-wise," he said.

There might be a chance that he returns for the WGC-CA Championship in Doral, Florida, slated for March 12 to 15th.

But the wait continues.

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