Golf is having a hard time. Tiger Woods could help make things better.
Golf is having a hard time. Tiger Woods could help make things better.

The PGA Tour and LIV Golf, which is backed by Saudi Arabia, keep throwing money at their games to try to get the best players to come. Sponsors of the PGA Tour are very unhappy with the weak teams they have to pay for every week.

The TV networks are also very upset. Every week on the PGA Tour, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka, Sergio Garcia, and Bryson DeChambeau don’t play in any events other than the four major tournaments.

On the other hand, LIV still doesn’t have a deal with a big TV network. There will always be the fact that it is a clear case of sportswashing hanging over its head. It’s also hard to take seriously because the events are 54 holes and there is no cut. Also, the announcers try to sell the idea of team play.

That’s it? Please wake me up when the Ryder Cup starts.

What does the PGA Tour do next?

Easy. Someone new needs to be in charge. This is not an attack on Jay Monahan, who is the present commissioner. He is nice, smart, and a great salesman. He would do a great job as a commissioner in most situations. But things haven’t been normal for a few years now.

Monahan took a long time to respond to the threat of LIV. While he was trying to be moral, he forgot that most of his players, golf fans, and sponsors didn’t care if the money from Saudi Arabia was blood money or not. They just wanted the checks to clear.

Monahan also tried to use money as an excuse. He started with the ridiculous “Player Impact Program,” which paid players based on how popular they were. Tiger Woods was the first winner. He didn’t play in any tournaments in 2021, but he was still by far the most famous golfer.

Mickelson was the runner-up. He was so happy with his $6 million bonus that he was the first big player to jump to LIV.

The tour threw good money after bad by making the PIP bonus pool $100 million in 2022. There were three official games that Woods played in before he won again. If the numbers were taken correctly, he would keep winning until 2122. Mickelson wasn’t in the top 20 that year because he hadn’t played since he signed with LIV.

Finally, Monahan made a deal with the Saudis behind the backs of Woods and Rory McIlroy, who had been the tour’s biggest defenders. Eight months later, the details are still not settled.

That should have been the last thing the tour’s rules board could stand. “Jay’s been playing checkers, and the Saudis have been playing chess,” said one player.

Some people might feel good about firing Monahan for his mistakes, but it wouldn’t help golf by any means. And adding another businessman, politician, or CEO wouldn’t make much of a difference.

The tour needs to hire someone who is a businessman with a lot of power, knows a lot about golf, and can look the Saudis in the eye across the table at the negotiating table.

Eldrick “Tiger” Woods is the only guy who fits that bill.

Woods is still one of the most popular golf stars.
Woods is still one of the most popular golf stars.

Has Woods done something wrong in his personal life? Of course. Can he be mean to people? Yes. Is he about as see-through as a wall of concrete? Yes.

Is he, however, as bright as the sun on a lovely summer day? Sure thing. Will he quickly learn about the problems the tour is having? Yes, also that.

His name is also pretty important, because everyone knows who Tiger Woods is, even if they don’t know anything about golf. There aren’t many players who are more than just good at their sport. That’s clear; Woods does.

You can help him close the best deals if you put him around people who know how to break down the numbers. He won’t run away at the first sign of problems. Woods is a lot of things, but the one thing that defines him the most is a fighter. He won’t see running the tour and dealing with all the problems that will come up as anything more than a tight race.

Woods will have something to do when he’s not on the golf course if he is made commissioner. He has come back from a lot of problems to beat Michael Jordan many times. The most impressive of these was his win at the 2019 Masters.

At the time, he was 43 years old and hadn’t won a major in almost 11 years. In his first 12 years on tour, he had won 14 times. He got hurt in a car accident in 2009, which led to the news about his personal life. His golf swing also got worse with age, which threw off his career.

He came back and won another green jacket, though, because he was still Tiger Woods. It looked like he would only play a small role in games until he turned 50.

Then, on Friday, three years ago, he was in a car accident outside of Los Angeles that broke his right leg. Police say he was going between 84 and 87 mph in a 45-mph zone when he lost control of his car, flipped it over, and was lucky to be alive.

Since then, he has played in six official events, but he has dropped out of three of them. Last week, he made it through 24 holes in Los Angeles.

There is no one telling him to stop playing when he is healthy enough to play 72 holes. But this says that he and golf would both be much better off if he worked on fixing the game instead of betting that his body will heal itself so quickly that his presence in a tournament is more than just an advertisement.

There are things that only Tiger Woods, not even Jack Nicklaus, has been able to do with his golf skills. Smart golfers, like Nicklaus, will tell you that Woods could also do things on the course that no one else had ever done.

His reputation as a golfer will not change in the future. But Woods could make his name better outside of golf if he wanted to. He will never be 25 years old again. But he still has a lot to offer the game he loves and other game fans.

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