As a golfer and as a fan I am appreciative of the entertainment that Tiger has provided and hold in awe his many accomplishments. Countless times and in countless ways I have stated and written this in the course of my duties as an analyst and a writer.
It is my intention and indeed my responsibility to speak to an issue with complete accuracy where statistics or numbers are the determining factors for clarity. When opinion is called for, I base mine on those stats or records and compare them with other eras for perspective. Whether Tiger is the greatest player of all time or will go down as the greatest player of all time is an interminable debate and I always enjoy listening to those well-informed ideas that run, either counter to mine, or are in step with mine.
As for the negativity, in some cases I’m guilty as charged. I cannot as an analyst find reason to compliment a player who abandons proven methods for more pedestrian ones. What if he is ultimately successful in his endeavors to change his swing and win majors? He would end up right where he started, at the cost of time, which is every athlete’s most valuable commodity. Furthermore, it would have cost him considerable wear on a body that has not aged well. All of this makes me question whether it is one of the most confusing things we have seen in golf.
Do not mistake this opinion for ill will, I wish Tiger well. He has made my job very easy as he has given us so many salivating moments to talk about on the air. He has been very good for golf, especially globally. Golf has not grown in this country since he arrived but in the world it is a different story.
Golf is positioned for seismic growth, in China, India, Russia and South America because of its inclusion in the Olympics in 2016. While Ty Votaw, the PGA Tour and golf's other governing bodies around the globe deserve a standing ovation for this, I can't help but think that Tiger played the biggest part. He made golf cool and the idea of having him on an Olympic stage had to be a determining factor in overcoming the inertia that had kept golf out of the biggest sporting event in the world. For that, golf owes Tiger a debt of gratitude.
If you read this Tiger, thank you and I hope 2011 turns out to be a great year for you.
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