LEMONT, Ill. – The popularity of an NFL Sunday proves that Americans love their gridiron gladiators. The pairing of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson at the BMW Championship had a similar feel. The energy present from the moments before they teed off proving to be nearly as electric as anything you see outside of a major championship.
It was an atmosphere that even other players noticed. The first tee at Cog Hill No. 4 (Dubsdread course) overlooks the practice putting green. Kevin Na, who needed a good day to qualify for the Tour Championship, took a moment to soak in that atmosphere with a small group as he prepared for his final round. “It is good for the spectators," Na said. And as I walked with those same spectators for a number of holes, each of them seemed to relish the opportunity to see the No. 1 and 2 in the world.
Talking to fans who decided to spend a beautiful Chicago day walking with the world’s best golfers instead of watching their Bears open the NFL season gives you a sense of what star power can do. The reception for both players was enthusiastic and spirited on each hole. Even though not as much was at stake for either player as they would prefer, the fans appreciated the show. After all, it has been more than a year since anyone is the United States has seen this pair play together.
It is the type of star power that can make thousands stroll the fairways just to try and catch a glimpse of two legends. It is exactly what golf needs to keep the sport relevant in a fall filled with football.
Walker joined Golf Channel in 2008 and is an anchor/reporter for Golf Central.
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