Dumb Move, Mr. Woods

The introduction for this post can be found here

Tiger Woods apologizes for irresponsible and selfish behavior in FloridaAs my esteemed colleague outlined above, some people believe that Tiger Woods returning to competitive golf at the Masters is a good PR move.  I whole heartedly disagree.

Let me count the ways:

Walk Before You Crawl – Would you want your first game of the season to be Game 7 of the World Series or even the Super Bowl?  From a sheer golf mechanics perspective, Tiger will not be at the top of his game.  He will not have played a round of competitive golf in nearly six months when he tees off at Augusta.  Why not work your way into peak condition before the biggest tournament of the year?

Respect the Game – There is no sporting event in the United States that is as revered as the Masters.  Even folks who aren’t into golf know that this is the biggest championship in the sport.  Instead of the focus being on the greatest golfers playing their greatest golf, it will instead be on illicit affairs and the fallen angel.  Augusta National has a reputation for controlling every aspect of the player and fan experience – how do you think they’ll like TMZ creeping around their hallowed grounds?

Spread the Love – Let’s call a spade a spade, shall we?  Tiger’s return to the PGA Tour will be a HUGE event.  In fact…it will be a MAJOR event.  It will draw insane TV ratings and public interest.  Why, then, would the PGA Tour not have Tiger return at another event that could use the “boost?”  Doesn’t make good business sense to me.

Happily Never After? – Tiger’s experience at Augusta can only acceptably end in one of two ways in the eyes of fans.  One, he wins the tournament and puts on a green jacket.  Two, he plays the worst two rounds of his life, misses the cut and flies home Friday night, the sport kicking the man at his lowest point.  Neither one of these is good for golf.  These potential endings are the only ones fans will look at as definitive and satisfying.

The stakes at the Masters are ridiculously high.  Going into it with little preparation and no momentum is a horrible choice for Tiger.  And the PGA Tour has backed themselves into a corner, where no matter who wins their greatest event of the year, Tiger is the story.  Despite what Jeff thinks, and no matter how intriguing the public catharsis may look on paper, this move has “FAIL” written all over it.

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