Eye of the Tiger

Tiger eying one of the greatest sports comebacks of all time.

Brock Maloy, Staff Writer

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Golfers all around are cowering as the legend Tiger Woods is making and even more legendary comeback to his sport. It’s been nearly five years since we’ve seen Tiger at the top on Sunday, and almost 10 years since his last major. It’s mind boggling to think that he was two away from the record in 2009 and has failed to win since. A large part of this is due to his countless back surgeries. His health has kept him sidelined for much of four years.  This season Tiger fans have witnessed something spectacular. At the age of 42 Woods has come back looking like old Tiger and playing better than much of the new young blood in the sport. Tiger is now making cuts and consistently putting the ball on the green.
       As the season wrapped up at the Wyndham Championship, Tiger finished the season ranked 20th in FedEx points. Tiger has also made a splash in the World Golf Ranking. In his lowest of the lows, the great Woods seeped down to 674th overall in the world golf ranking. Lately after stellar performances, he has climbed 648 spots to 26th in the game. When Tiger was first making his mark on the sport, the popularity of golf sky rocketed and kids all over were taking to the sport.  In contrast, in recent years the golf industry has been failing; kids stopped playing golf and courses were left to perish. The great boom and fall of golf are attributed to Tiger’s play on the course. “I think Tiger’s return will ultimately boost attendance and likewise contribute to more people playing golf,” says avid golf fan Tim Maloy. If the speculation is true, this would be huge for the game of golf. Golf would likely have another boom. If more people are going to the tournaments, then of course more people would watch it on TV, and if TV ratings go up, then exposure of the game of golf will rise exponentially. This will inspire kids and adults to play more golf, contributing to the quality of the game getting better.
Golf fans, and you could guess Woods, are waiting on the first win back. Tiger has finished runner up multiple times, and in the top ten consistently, so why can’t he get the job done? After studying recent tournaments and a little bit of stat fishing, we’ve finally gotten to the bottom of it. An enormous part of golf is how accurately you drive the ball. Tiger still lacks in this category. As of late he is ranked 175th in driving accuracy and is even losing 0.55 shots off the tee. In other words, he is dropping a shot every two times he has to take a driver out of the tee box. Another factor to his top 10s and runner ups is his stamina. Tiger has even taken the lead many times on Sunday but failed to finish. It seems that around the 12th hole or such, Tiger’s play fails and he drops a few shots, resulting in him losing. In order for Tiger to return as old Tiger he needs to be far more accurate and keep his composure heading to the back 9.
     Let’s give you the statistics on how much Tiger Woods affects the game of golf. In major tournaments we have seen three times (6million more) the viewers as when he misses the cut. Recently Tiger has shown great improvement in his driver over the last couple of weeks but a new problem has arrived. His putter has seemed to take the place of his troubled driver. When he was younger he could make a putt from just about anywhere.
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