The 3rd roundof the Masters concluded today with Tiger Mania continuing throughout the day. Woods entered the round tied for 19th at just two under par and yet the entire golf world stayed focused on him. Isn’t that too much focus on Tiger?
Everyone keeps wondering whether Tiger can come back from 4… 5… 6… now 7 strokes down. Yes, he did it two weeks ago, but that wasn’t the Masters and that wasn’t against the same competition as the Masters. No offense to Sean O’Hair, but I would not expect Angel Cabrera, Kenny Perry, or Jim Furyk to give up such a large lead.
Speaking of Sean O’Hair. Did you know that O’Hairis tied with Tiger at -4 after the 3rd round? He is one of eight other players tied with Tiger. You probably knew that Phil Mickelson was at 4 under as well. but I’m guessing you couldn’t name any of those 7 other guys. That’s because CBS, ESPN, and the rest of the sports world don’t care about the players tied for 10th place.
Unless one of those players is Tiger.
The man may be the greatest golfer of all time, but until he reaches within 3 of the leader, let’s talk about the leader instead of Woods. Avid golf fans care about the sport, not just Tiger. Let’s talk about the improbable run of 48-year-old Kenny Perry, who is trying to become the oldest major champion ever. Or Angel Cabrera’s attempt to prove that he is not a one-hit-wonder? How about the fact that two South Africans are in the Top 10 (Rory Sabbatini and Tim Clark)? Or Anthony Kim being tied for 10th in just his 1st Masters?
All great story lines. All being overshadowed by Tiger.
When people are putting out bets where you can choose “Tiger or The Field”, things are getting ridiculous. When people are choosing Tiger in that bet, things are out of control. Come on. There are dozens of other golfers who entered the weekend with a chance to win. Maybe Tiger had the best odds, but he certainly did not have a greater than 50% chance of winning.
Maybe all of the attention comes from casual golf fans who don’t really care about who wins, but just watch to see if they see a Tiger comeback. Maybe golf has to cater to those millions of casual fans or else the sport will fail. If the only way golf can succeed is by focusing on Tiger, what will happen A.T. (After Tiger)? Will golf coverage stop? Advertisers pull out?
Well if that’s the case, than golf has bigger problems then my complaints here so I’m going to assume that that is not the case. For now, I’ll watch tomorrow’s action to see if Kenny Perry (My pick now) can outplay Cabrera and the rest of the field. When Tiger tees off, I’m sure CBS will be all over it. I’m sure for his 18 holes, we’ll see every shot. When Perry and Cabrera tee off in the final pairing though, I want to watch them. If Tiger makes a run, then we can change to him, but first, let me enjoy the beautiful golf of the leaders, not the struggles of the world’s greatest.